The 2015 TIMSS Grade 5 study was administered for the first time in South Africa in August 2015. The study was led by a team of researchers at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
Providing the first, nationally representative, internationally comparative compendium of data on Grade 5 learners in South Africa, the report is a new indicator of the health of our educational system. The analyses describe in detail the current picture of achievement for learners in the country, highlighting key individual, family, school and provincial differences. The results also include key developments concerning preschool attendance, early learning environments, as well as the importance of educational expectations and academic beliefs, and the damaging effects of bullying. The findings highlight the importance of early achievement and the need to understand the multiple layers of influence on educational pathways, with the conclusions and recommendations highlighting an unequal, yet treatable system.
The Grade 5 study sits alongside the Grade 9 study which has been carried out in South Africa since 1995, recently completing its fifth round.