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SACMEQ findings on the quality of primary-school inputs

SACMEQ reviewed the quality of four primary-school inputs, namely basic learning materials, mathematic s textbooks, learner-teacher ratios and class size.

Its findings include the following:

  • Basic learning materials (BLMs) – at least one exercise book, something to write with, and a ruler – are essential to effective learner participation in the classroom. Only 82% of grade 6 learners had one exercise book, a pen or pencil and a ruler, with noticeable provincial variations. In the Eastern Cape only 67% had BLMs, compared to 93% in Limpopo. Only 36% of learners in grade 6 had sole use of a maths textbook, a number which is down from 41% in 2000.
  • Learner-teacher ratios are critical to better quality education. In 2007 the learner: teacher ratio was 34 learners per teacher – within the benchmark of 40 set by the Department of Education.
  • Class sizes averaged 44 learners per class in 2007, thus exceeding the 40-learner benchmark.
  • Overall, one in every five learners did not have the three basic learning materials.

Click here to view the brief on BLMs.