Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003

STATUS: Current
PROJECT LEADER:Reddy, V (Dr Vijiyaluxmi)
OTHER TEAM MEMBERS: Basson, J.S.L. (Ms Lindi), Prinsloo, CH (Dr Casper Hendrik), Ngema, DM (Mrs Doli Maria), Bantwini, B.D. (Dr Bongani), Visser, MM (Ms Margaretha Maria)
DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
RESEARCH OUTPUTS: Item readability and science achievement in TIMSS 2003 in South Africa, Mathematics and science achievement at South African schools in TIMSS 2003, TIMSS in an African context, The trends in international mathematics and science study: 2003
DATASETS: View Datasets


The Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003 measured mathematics and science achievement at the Grade 8 level in 50 countries, including South Africa. In the TIMSS 1999 study, South Africa scored the lowest among 38 participating countries. This was not much different from the the TIMSS-Repeat study in 1999, in which South African learners also performed poorly in mathematics and science.

The mathematics mean score of 275 was well below the international mean of 487 and the science mean score of 243 was well below the international mean of 488. There are many in-country studies and reports which have expressed concern about the state of maths and science education. Since 2000, there has been curriculum restructuring in South African schools and this has caused uncertainty in many classrooms, which could have an effect on the learning, and therefore, the performance of learners.