Maths & Science Improvement Strategy (2013)

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Private sector client

Project Location

Project Duration

1 year

Total Value


Value of Montrose Component



  • South Africa has a low performing, high-cost schooling system.
  • The system has resulted in learners falling behind peers in other countries in mathematics and science during the primary school phase.
  • Primary school graduates are frequently ill-prepared for the demands of secondary school, college and the economy.
  • This subsequently contributes to national problems of high unemployment, frustrated youth and a low performing economy.


  • Montrose undertook a systematic gaps and opportunities analysis to gain a full understanding of maths and science teaching and learning outcomes.
  • We carried out desk-based reviews of past initiatives and national results as well as field work which included interviews with education officials, head teachers and teachers, students, education NGOs and CSOs.
  • Our aim was to understand:
    • The root causes of low levels of take-up and poor performance across maths and science among South African school students.
    • What schools can do to improve take-up and performance in maths and science, including capacity building of the teachers.
    • The capacity of local and national organisations involved in the promotion of maths and science education in schools and how they can be supported.


  • Montrose supported low-performing educational institutions with a focus on primary and high school students within our client’s area of operation.
  • We designed a strategy and programme that addressed shortcomings in maths and science teaching to advance educational achievement and increase future and economic prospects for young people.