SA comes 39th in Grade 9 science performance — out of 39 countries
SA came 39th out of 39 countries in a 2016 assessment that focused on the science performance of Grade 9s. This sent shockwaves across the country‚ prompting the question: where are we going wrong? Now, a report from the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) has revealed a major part of the problem: only 18% of high schools have a laboratory‚ and they are unevenly spread across provinces. In Gauteng‚ the Western Cape and the Free State‚ only about one third of high schools have labs — but they are the best off. Worst off are the Eastern Cape and Limpopo‚ where only about 6% of high schools have labs. Mpumalanga‚ North West‚ KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape all have labs in 10% to 20% of high schools. In response to the report, education specialist Judy Andrew said: "I believe equipped science labs are essential in high schools. Many schools have the laboratory, but it is not equipped. An innovative educator can use a classroom to teach science in the early years, but once experiment...
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