Department of Basic Education ready to administer 2013 Annual National Assessments (ANA)

More than 7-million learners from Grades 1 to 6 and 9 will participate in the Annual National Assessment (ANA) in public schools and independent schools that qualify for government subsidy in South Africa. This is an important activity for the Department of Basic Education as these assessments are used to gauge the literacy and numeracy skills of learners at the foundation, intermediate and senior phases of the education system.
The ANA results will in the main, help in identifying areas that need urgent attention and improving the learning success levels of our children. These results will be used to monitor progress, guide planning and the distribution of resources to help improve literacy and numeracy skills of learners. ANA will also assist the provincial education departments to make informed decisions regarding schools that require extra attention so as to improve learner performance.

This is a mammoth logistical undertaking by the Department of Basic Education and South Africa is the only country that administers such a test on an annual basis. This demonstrates government’s commitment to ensuring that a minimum of 60% of South Africa’s learners achieve acceptable levels of performance in literacy and numeracy by 2014, in keeping with President Jacob Zuma’s directive in his 2010 State of the Nation Address.
It must be stressed to learners and parents that these assessments are not used to determine a child’s progression or promotion to the next grade. It is purely to measure the learners’ progress with the curriculum and to establish the level at which they are performing, and the areas of the curriculum that teachers should concentrate on. Parents can assist their children by ensuring that they revise all the work done thus far, go through the activities in their workbooks and working through the exemplar tests/questions that have been distributed to schools and are also available on the department’s website.

“These assessments that have been administered since 2011 have proven to provide extremely useful information and there has been a steady improvement in learner performance, since the introduction of these tests”, said Minister Angie Motshekga.

She stressed that special attention has been devoted to the development of this year’s Mathematics test for grade 9 learners, to ensure that it serves as an appropriate indicator of learner’s performance at that level. “In 2012, the Grade 9 mathematics performance had been particularly low and this has raised some pertinent questions of Mathematics teaching at this level. We are confident that relevant interventions have taken place and that we will see an improvement in this year’s results,” said Minister Motshekga.

A significant amount of effort has gone into the preparation for this large task. Teachers have been trained to administer these tasks under standardised conditions across all schools, and there are special mechanisms in place to ensure that the marking by teachers is tightly controlled and quality-assured. Sample scripts from every class in each school will be collected and re-marked at a central venue in the province, to ensure that the school marking is of the appropriate standard.

To further ensure that the results of ANA 2013 are reliable and credible, the DBE has appointed an independent agent that will conduct the tests at more than 2 000 selected schools across the country. These tests will be collected and marked by the independent agent and the results from these selected schools will be used to verify both the process and the results obtained from the rest of the country.

“I wish all our learners well during these assessments and look forward to the analysis of the results,” said Minister Motshekga.

Schools can contact the Department of Basic Education on this call centre number 0800 202 933

Angelina Matsie Motshekga

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