Experts call for urgent refocus in improving primary schools education

An international education report has found 63% of grade 5 pupils did not acquire basic maths knowledge, while 72% lack basic science knowledge.

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JOHANNESBURG - Education experts are calling for an urgent refocus on primary school education following shocking findings on the state of maths and science at the country's public schools.

An international education report has found 63% of grade 5 pupils did not acquire basic maths knowledge, while 72% lack basic science knowledge.

ALSO READ: 63% of grade 5 pupils at SA’s public schools lack basic maths knowledge - TIMSS

The 2019 Trends in International Maths and Science Study was conducted in several countries - and involved pupils in grade 4 and 8.

While South Africa surveyed pupils in a grade higher, in grades 5 and 9, the country still scored among the lowest in the world.

Dr Vijay Reddy said primary school education needed to be prioritised: “What we do recommend is that like we give the attention to secondary schools and matric exams, we need to refocus on primary education because these results tell us there hasn’t been any change.”

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