Maths and science teaching in a bad way - Annette Lovemore

DA MP calls for MST task team report's findings need to be scrutinised in parliament

Task Team Report released: DA to request special parliamentary hearings

Subsequent to much pressure from the Democratic Alliance, the Department of Basic Education has made public the report compiled by the Ministerial Team tasked with investigating the implementation of the Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) strategy.

The report is damning. It exposes gaping holes at every level of the system particularly with regards to teachers:

  • The national strategy is out of date.
  • There is a shortage of qualified teachers.
  • The curriculum changes over the past decade have negatively affected teaching.
  • Universities are not training teachers adequately.

District offices are largely not capable of providing adequate support to teachers.

Whilst there is a shortage of competent maths teachers, the report makes a critical statement: "There is a national pool of dedicated and competent MST teachers. They must be recognised and nurtured. Their knowledge and experience must be used to best advantage."

These teachers understand the importance of mathematics, and they understand how to teach it effectively.

No matter what dedicated MST structure Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga decides to develop within her Department, she must take cognizance of the fact that successful teachers have succeeded largely despite her Department and not because of it. She must draw on their expertise. Their excellence must be recognised and duplicated many fold.

I will write to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Ms Hope Malgas, requesting that Minister Motshekga be called to present the report's findings and her intentions to Parliament in a forum that is open to the public and which will ensure that commitments are recorded.

The case for urgency has been made. The Minister must act accordingly.

Statement issued by Annette Lovemore MP, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, October 27 2013

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