South Africa comes last in maths education: survey

01 November 2012 - 13:01 By Sapa
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The quality of South Africa's maths and science education has been ranked last in a survey of 62 countries by the World Economic Forum.

The report ranked South Africa 54th when it came to gross tertiary enrolment -- behind India, but ahead of Morocco, Ghana, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, and Tanzania.

The country placed 28th overall, and was the top-ranked sub-Saharan African country.

The forum's annual financial development report, which links human capital to economic development, was released on Monday. Together with taxes, infrastructure, and the costs of doing business, human capital contributes to a supportive business environment.

South Africa's non-banking financial services, such as mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPO), insurance and securitisation, were ranked 22nd, and financial stability 17th -- a "slight improvement".

"These changes were driven by greater currency stabilisation (28th) and more robust IPO (26th) and securitisation activity (44th)," according to the report.

South Africa's business environment (42nd) was the country's weakest area.

Despite an efficient tax regime (16th), there was a "very weak" human capital pool (52nd) and underdeveloped infrastructure (51st).

However, there was a comparatively strong institutional environment (25th), resulting from good corporate governance mechanisms (11th) and an ability to effectively enforce contracts (19th).

In terms of financial access (36th), South Africa offered varied results, according to the report.

"On the one hand, commercial access scores (16th) are solid and improving, while retail access (41st) is relatively weak and declining."

X