Understanding the general health status of children aged 18 years and below in relation to the HIV epidemic is paramount in South Africa - a country that has both the highest number of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS in the world.
The 2015 TIMMS 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).
The 2015 TIMMS Grade 9 study was administered in August 2015 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). This was the fifth time that South Africa has participated in TIMSS since 1995. In addition to the learner assessment data, the study also collected contextual information from learners, teachers and school principals, making it possible to explore the factors that are related to Grade 9 mathematics and science achievement.
Policy governs many aspects of the professional lives of educators. It is also central to their and the sector's response to crises such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As such policy can contribute directly to curtailing the attrition of educators, by encouraging and providing protection against threats such as HIV/AIDS, and by creating a positive and supportive working environment. This study examines workplace and HIV/AIDS policies from the Department of Education (DoE) and the HIV/AIDS policies of two trade unions, as part of a broader study looking at the attrition of educators. The policies themselves were found to be well written and if implemented, would create a good environment for educators. A number of successes were noted, particularly in terms of the transformation of education structures. The findings suggest that problems are centered on a lack of policy implementation, resulting from disjunctures between the national office and provincial and district offices, as well as a lack of resources and inadequate planning and preparation for implementation.