Universal basic education and the provision of quality mathematics in Southern Africa
In this paper, I discuss Universal Basic Education (UBE) in relation to the teaching and learning of mathematics in Southern Africa. I present the status of UBE for all countries in the region and then use 3 selected examples: Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia, to illustrate the provision of mathematics in the general framework of UBE in the countries. I draw from results of SACMEQ evaluations to compare the 3 countries’ quality of primary education and also the mathematical achievement of learners. According to the evaluations, countries that have better age-appropriate enrollment and provide a better quality of primary education seem to have better mathematical achievement than countries that have less age-appropriate enrollment and less quality of primary education. While this might seem obvious, it is important to note because of the many challenges that some Southern African countries are facing in their efforts in providing quality mathematics education to all.