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S. African gov't rejects WEF education report

03 June 2014, 09:17

Nairobi - The South African government on Monday rejected a World Economic Forum (WEF) report which ranks the country's maths and science education system as the worst in the world.

The WEF Global Information Technology Report did not base its research on any actual tests or assessments done by pupils and the forum did not interact with pupils, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said in a statement.

According to the report, South Africa's maths and science education quality is the worst in the world, even lagging behind the likes of Haiti, Lesotho, Chad, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya.

The report also claims that the overall perceived quality of South Africa's education system has also plummeted from 140 to 146 of 148 countries surveyed, said the report.

Meanwhile, internet access in South African schools has slipped down by five slots to 116 of 148, the report said.

"The report is not a credible or accurate reflection of the state of education in South Africa," the DBE said.

This finding "is based purely on the opinions or perceptions of selected executives," the department said.

"This perception index is based on interviews conducted with business sector executives and reflects nothing more than their personal perceptions."

But the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) recognizes the report which shows that South Africa's education system "needs urgent intervention."

The party lambasted Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for not doing enough to address the maths, science and technology crisis.

Quality education is a crucial necessity for creating more globally competitive young adults , much-needed jobs and entrepreneurs, said DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education Annette Lovemore.

"Minister Motshekga's inaction has not only jeopardized our education system, but the very future our country and its children, " Lovemore noted.

 - Xinhua

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