SA’s shocking ICT skills ranking

Global Information Technology Report 2013 reveals that South Africa has shocking ICT skills and education raking

April 11, 2013
People

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Information Technology Report 2013 on 10 April, revealing that South Africa’s ICT skills ranking is among the lowest in the world.

The Global Information Technology Report 2013 features the latest results of the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), offering an overview of the current state of ICT readiness in the world.

This year’s coverage includes a record number of 144 economies, accounting for over 98 percent of global GDP.

The WEF states in its report that skills are an important factor in a country’s economic and ICT growth.

“Among the expressions of transformation is the development of new skills that are important in knowledge-based, information-rich societies and that are crucial for employment,” the report states.

South Africa performed particularly poorly when it comes to skills. The report showed that South Africa ranks at number 102 out of 144 economies when it comes to the necessary skills to boost the country’s performance.

However, it gets worse. South Africa ranked 140 th out of 144 economies for the quality of its educational system, and second last when looking at the quality of mathematics and science education.

South Africa’s skills rankings are as follows:

  • Quality of educational system – 140 out of 144
  • Quality of math & science education – 143 out of 144
  • Secondary education gross enrolment rate – 56 out of 144
  • Adult literacy rate – 93 out of 144

These statistics show that South Africa will have to drastically improve its ICT education if it plans to be competitive in a fast changing economy which increasingly rely on ICT skills.

How Skills performance was measured

Quality of the educational system

How well does the educational system in your country meet the needs of a competitive economy?
Source: World Economic Forum, Executive Opinion Survey, 2011 and 2012 editions

Quality of math and science education

How would you assess the quality of math and science education in your country’s schools?

Source: World Economic Forum, Executive Opinion Survey, 2011 and 2012 editions

Secondary enrollment rate (Secondary education gross enrollment rate (%))

The reported value corresponds to the ratio of total secondary enrollment, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the secondary education level.

Secondary education (ISCED levels 2 and 3) completes the provision of basic education that began at the primary level, and aims to lay the foundations for lifelong learning and human development, by offering more subject- or skills-oriented instruction using more specialized teachers.

Sources: United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre (accessed November 29, 2012); UNESCO, UNESCO Science Report 2010: The Current Status of Science around the World; national sources

Adult literacy rate

Adult literacy is defined as the percentage of the population aged 15 years and over who can both read and write with understanding a short, simple statement on his/her everyday life.

For OECD member countries, when data are missing, we apply a value of 99 percent for the purposes of calculating the NRI. This is in line with the approach adopted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in calculating the 2009 edition of the Human Development Index. In the corresponding table, those countries are identified by an asterisk.

Sources: United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre (accessed November 29, 2012); national sources

More South African ICT rankings articles

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Tags: Headline, NRI, World Economic Forum (WEF)

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