Ed­u­ca­tion over­hauls assess­ment sys­tem

Public Sector Manager - - Feature - Writ­ers: No­luthando Motswai and Amuke­lani Chauke

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.

Bench­mark­ing ed­u­ca­tion

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.

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