Less than one third of learners registered for the National Senior Certificate have core mathematics as a matric subject. 

In the 2020 academic year, only 32% of the 725 034 candidates registered to write the national senior certificate (NSC) opted to take core mathematics as a subject. A choice that does not bode well for the country’s future economy, which is in desperate need of mathematics, science and technology skills to foster growth.  

The Wits School of Education believes that part of the solution to this math gap lies in improving the quality of teaching and learning during grades eight and nine. In many instances, these foundational years are taught by educators that are less experienced or that are not qualified to teach mathematics. Schools often allocate more experienced educators to the further education and training (FET) grades (grades 10-12).  

The Transition Maths 1 (TM1) course, a project developed out of the Wits Maths Connect Secondary (WMCS), was designed to improve the mathematical knowledge of teachers, as well as their teaching practice. TM1 focuses on functions, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Over 150 teachers from 80 schools across the Gauteng province have completed this course.  

This is one of the few initiatives created to improve the quality of math education in South African schools.  


FEATURED IMAGE: A learner practicing math. Photo: Karabo Mashaba.