Education dept rejects WEF education report

The department of basic education on Monday rejected a World Economic Forum report about the state of the country’s maths and science education.

“The report is not a credible or accurate reflection of the state of education in South Africa,” the department said in a statement.

According to the WEF report, the quality of South Africa’s maths and science education placed it last out of 148 countries.

“[We] reject this finding as it is based purely on the opinions or perceptions of selected executives,” the department said.

According to the report under the “skills” sub-category, the quality of South Africa’s maths and science education comes in last place, behind the likes of Haiti, Lesotho, Chad, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya.

The quality of South Africa’s education puts it in 146th place.

Ranking
This is according to the “Global Information Technology Report 2014”. It uses a networked readiness index (NRI) to rank the state of countries’ information and communication technology.

South Africa is placed 70th on the NRI, which is made up of 10 different sub-categories from which the overall NRI ranking is drawn.

The department on Monday said the WEF report did not base its research on any actual tests or assessments done by pupils and the forum did not interact with pupils.

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

The WEF’s past “Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013”  came under scrutiny last year. The answers to that survey showed that it was not the WEF ranking South Africa’s education system, but rather the WEF giving a ranking based on the perceptions of executives in the countries concerned. – Sapa, additional reporting by Sapa

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