The teaching of mathematics in South African schools has been pronounced to be among the worst in the world. Unacknowledged poor teaching of mathematics in a majority of public schools deprive many learners access to both higher education and modern, knowledge-intensive work skills. The chapter resumes by outlining mathematics curriculum redress and changes in the post-apartheid era, the exploration of mathematics education, democracy and development, together with the introduction of Mathematical Literacy as an alternative compulsory subject to learners incompetent to do mathematics. The chapter further interrogates how mathematics education, in terms of mathematical knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, is distributed in society and thereby shapes educational possibilities together with the research trends and their effect on mathematics education in South Africa. Mathematics teacher training and empowerment are discussed together with shortcomings in the system that leads to learners’ poor performance in Mathematics. How South Africa compares in performance with other countries is also examined in this chapter. The closing remarks of the chapter suggest some improvements that the mathematics education system in South Africa can embark on.
Part of the book: Education Systems Around the World