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Mathematics and science are often considered the two most difficult school subjects that are so often avoided by students, yet they can have a significant impact on what a learner can do when they leave school. 

STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills are critical in today’s fast-paced world, but it is evident that learners in South Africa are showing less of an appetite for subjects like maths and science.

This mainly comes down to misconceptions and negative perceptions of maths and science, rather than one’s ability or aptitude for the subject. “Our youth are brought up to believe that maths and science are too difficult, that it has no real value in the real world and, therefore, they are not worth the effort,” says Prof Azwinndini Muronga, Executive Dean of Science at Nelson Mandela University. “This can have an incredibly negative effect on learners’ attitudes on these subjects,’’ says Prof Muronga.

“What many learners and parents fail to realise is that maths and science are enabling subjects that are a gateway to higher education and beyond,’’ says Prof Muronga. “They lay the foundation in applying knowledge when encountering complex principles competently in the school curriculum, at university and later on in life.”

Read the full article on the Women in Science website

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