Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003

Abstract

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.