The Department of Basic Education has continued to spin SA’s dismal results in an international study, which placed the country right at the bottom for science and second last for maths, saying the results showed that SA had greatly improved. The Trends in International Maths and Science Study (Timss), published by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, was the just the latest to raise questions on the quality of SA’s education system. The Timss study is conducted every four years and the 2015 results were released late in 2016, which included 59 countries. The results placed South African grade 5 and grade 9 pupils second-last in maths. Grade 9s were at the bottom of the class in science, trailing other African countries such as Botswana and Morocco. Grade 5s did not participate in the science tests. The tests cover grade 4 and grade 8 pupils in most countries, but in SA they are done by pupils in grades 9 and 5 instead. Grade 9 science pupils ...

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