The Education department has rejected the findings of a World Economic Forum global report on Information Technology which suggests that South Africa's mathematics and science education is ranked as the worst in the world.
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.
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."
Perceptions mislead the public
The department of education says the world economic forum report is unfortunate, not a credible or accurate reflection of the state of education in South Africa.
The Department of Education's Elijah Mhlanga explains why they have disputed this report: “Because it is a perception index and not a report that was compiled as a result of research or a survey but it is how some people feel about the quality of education. But they didn’t take the trouble to research to establish the facts of the quality of our education.
Mhlanga says these perceptions are concerning: “Perceptions mislead the public, they don’t take into account the improvements that were made in the system, they don’t take into account the research work that has been done by International research, some original research and some of our own research that we have done in the country that points that we’ve made some significant progress in Maths and Science.”
For the full interview with Elijah Mhlanga from the Department of Education about the World Economic Forum Global’s report click below.
-additional reporting SAPA