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Attributes to poor results performance in mathematics by KwaZulu- Natal Department of Education.

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ABSTRACT The learner poor performance results in mathematics in schools are haunting everybody involved within the department of education in South Africa. Nationally there is a crisis for the deficit of mathematics skills needed in careers involving engineering, technology, medicine, and in education. Most programs that are in operation, in dealing with the crisis seem not to be adequate. No matter how good programs might be, but if there is a missing link, they will not be successful. In-depth research that focuses in digging deep to where the tyre hits the road i.e. challenges faced by educators in the classroom situation; curriculum management and support; and competency of educators involved in teaching Mathematics, might address the crisis that is haunting all the stakeholders. Thus providing the framework, that serves as a guide towards improving mathematics performance in KwaZulu-Natal department of education schools. In this study quantitative approach was adopted since it is more informative, logical and tends to use survey methods, which provide a measure of what participants think thus providing the possibility of summarising characteristics across groups or relationships. A survey was conducted from one-hundred and twenty participants selected from forty schools at ILembe district with one-hundred and twenty six schools in total. Survey research normally uses scientific sampling and questionnaire design to measure characteristics of the population with statistical accuracy. A questionnaire was used as a primary tool to collect data. There was a 92% response rate registered. The study revealed the following: that Mathematics is taught by unqualified and under qualified educators in high schools. They are challenged on content knowledge. This was revealed by the 62% of educators who were uncomfortable to teach Mathematics from grade 10 to 12; Curriculum management and support is poorly administered in schools hence it needs to be intensified; lack of parental support towards improving learner performance; and lastly, there are a number of unattended factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics in class. All the stakeholders involved at a district level need to review refined their operations towards achieving better results. Programs in place are not landing on a fertile soil as a result they become fruitless expenditures. The study will benefit all stakeholders involved provided there is only one vision shared. iv.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.