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A summary of the problem in mathematics with respect to high school students is illustrated in the South African Journal of Education Vol. 26 (2) 253-266 by Andile Mji and Moses Makagato in their article: “Factors associated with high school learners' poor performance: a spotlight on mathematics and physical science”
It has been reported that outdated teaching practices and lack of basic content knowledge have resulted in poor teaching standards. The poor standards have also been exacerbated by a large number of under-qualified or unqualified teachers who teach in overcrowded and non-equipped classrooms. The combination of all these factors has in turn produced a new generation of teachers who are further perpetuating the cycle of mediocrity (DoE, 2001a).”
The problem of inadequate training was particularly identified in the general education phase of the schooling system (ibid.). The “Education for All” (EFA) 2000 assessment (2005) also reported that, in spite of approximately 85% of mathematics educators being professionally qualified only 50% has specialized in mathematics in their training.
Five areas identified by the participants were collectively classified under this category of factors. These related to (a) Teaching strategies; (b) Content knowledge and understanding; (c) Motivation and interest; (d) Laboratory usage; and (e) Syllabus non-completion.
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