Education overhauls assessment system
The Department of Basic Education will introduce a National Integrated Assessment Framework (NIAF) to replace the Annual National Assessment programme. Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced the change during her recent budget speech.
The NIAF will have three levels: systemic assessment, diagnostic assessment and summative examination.
Systemic assessment will be administered in Grades 3, 6 and 9, every three years, to gather valuable data on the health of the system and trends in learner performance. It will be piloted in October 2017, and implemented in 2018.
Diagnostic assessment will be done early in the learning process to identify learning gaps and plan remedial measures.
Summative examination, a national examination, will be administered in selected grades and subjects to create a national benchmark for promotion between grades.
Recent benchmarking studies show that the performance of South African learners is improving, Minister Motshekga said.
Results from the fourth Southern and East African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality study “showed for the first time that grade six South African learners achieved mathematics scores which are above the significant centre point of 500 points”.
According to the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science study, South Africa has improved by 87 points in maths and 90 points in science since 2003.
“More importantly, the largest gains were evident within the historically disadvantaged sections of the schooling system – quintiles 1-3 schools.”
Minister Motshekga said the South African basic education system is on an upward trajectory.
According to a 2015 Unesco research report, more learners remain in school up to Grade 12 than ever before.
Research conducted by the department found that in 2015 close to 60 per cent of young people were successfully completing 13 years, including Grade R.