South Africa has one of the world’s worst education systems
It is a question that South Africa is failing to answer. In a league table of education systems drawn up in
2015 by the OECD club of mainly rich countries, South Africa ranks 75th out of 76. In November the
latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a quadrennial test sat by
580,000 pupils in 57 countries, had South Africa at or near the bottom of its various rankings (see
chart), though its scores had improved since 2011. Its children are behind those in poorer parts of the
continent. A shocking 27% of pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with
4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. After five years of school about half cannot work out that 24
divided by three is eight. Only 37% of children starting school go on to pass the matriculation exam; just
4% earn a degree.
We cannot allow this to continue, it is up to the people of South Africa, together we can make a difference.