Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says the department is very pleased with the consistent improvements achieved by South Africa seen in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

This independent study gives an encouraging account of how we measure up in a widely recognized international testing programme aimed largely at assessing whether countries are making progress in education over time, she said when the results of the 2015 study were released here Tuesday.

She said the TIMSS 2015 study revealed a steady upward trajectory of South Africa’s education sector among 59 countries covered in TIMSS 2015.The study shows that South Africa has made the biggest improvement of any education system in the world since participating in the study.

TIMSS performance from 2003 to 2015 shows that there was a significant improvement (by South Africa) of 87 points for Mathematics and 90 points for Science, more than for any other country with comparable data,” she added.

Our participation in internationally bench-marked studies provides valuable and credible information that can disentangle post-truth politics and affirm the upward trajectory in the sector evidenced by improving Mathematics and Science skills; better schooling conditions; and decreasing inequality in education communities.”

She said large-scale assessment programmes such as TIMSS offered a reliable independent measure to monitor the performance of learners in key subject areas in order to assess the health of the education system.

The improved TIMSS scores should also be viewed in context of concentrated efforts and support provided in the senior phase. Historically, this phase has been a challenge for the sector, explained the Minister.