[LISTEN] Why South Africa’s educational system is lagging behind

The issue of illiteracy in our education system shows that a vast majority of our grade 4 learners cannot make sense of what they read - not to mention that South Africa came dead last in a survey around maths and science.

Senior UJ Research Associate Professor Mary Metcalfe says that the diagnosis is complex and Wits Educational Professor Brahm Fleisch has been speaking correctly and passionately about the need for more support towards teachers.

We need to be able to understand causes and we need to be able to understand solutions.

Professor Mary Metcalfe, Senior Research associate at the UJ

We cannot provide a solution if you don’t understand the causes says Professor Metcalfe. She adds that one of the interesting things in research, is that things were getting better until 2011.

Since then, things have not progressed says Professor Metcalfe.

We need the system to say what’s different between 2010/2011 and what’s different afterwards.

Professor Mary Metcalfe, Senior Research associate at the UJ

Professor Metcalfe says that the methodology of the research may in itself be the reason. She adds that we need to ask if there is a difference provisionally and if it’s associated with levels of poverty, language challenges and compare richer school to poorer ones.

Listen to more issues around the topic here...


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