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Media Release

11 October, 2007

Q&A on Grade 9 CTAs

The following are answers to questions from the media on the Common Tasks of Assessment (CTAs) for Grade 9 learners, for completion during the fourth quarter of 2007.

1. By when will all CTAs be delivered at schools?

We delivered Part A of the CTAs this week (8 - 12 October 2007). The few deliveries that were outstanding on 9 October will be delivered tomorrow (10 October 2007). Schools will receive Part B by 19 October in preparation for the two-hour "exams" that start on 12 November.

2. Some schools have said they received CTA workbooks, but not the correct amount. By when will they receive the outstanding CTAs?

Schools have to register learners online, via our learner tracking system. We base deliveries on the numbers of learners on the database.

Any school needing additional CTAs should notify Mr C Berry by email on cberry@pgwc.gov.za or by telephone 021 467 2265 or 021 467 2954. We will deliver additional requirements immediately. We are already delivering documents to schools that have reported shortages.

3. Some schools have reported that the CTAs do not prepare the pupils for the demands of Grade 10. Can you please respond to this statement?

CTAs are not the only form of assessment for the year. However, it's worth noting that Section B of the CTA involves a two-hour exam for the first time this year. CTAs are among a range of assessment tasks given throughout the year that will contribute to a learner's promotion. The CTAs are given in the fourth term. Learners complete other tasks during first three terms. If these tasks are at set the correct level then a learner will be well prepared for Grade 10.

4. What is the purpose of the CTA exercise?

CTAs provide a way of testing learners across the country, against a common standard. The results reflect progress as well as areas needing further attention. The CTAs also help teachers by highlighting a variety of teaching and assessment methods, which teachers can use to expand their repertoire of approaches. The CTAs test important areas of knowledge, skills and values in ways that are not always possible using conventional tests and exams.

5. Schools have complained that the CTAs are late. Please comment.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has taken special measures to ensure that schools receive the CTAs on time.

Each of the CTAs for Grade 9 learners consists of two sections. They cover all of the eight Learning Areas. Section A will be in schools in the week of 8 October.

The CTAs are not late. In fact this is the first year that they will be in schools in good time for teachers to plan the 4 - 5 hours of classroom time that should be spent on the Section A of the CTAs.

Already many schools have accessed the electronic copies of the CTAs from the Assessment Co-ordinators at their EMDC offices. In a massive logistical operation, schools will be provided with enough printed copies of the CTAs for every learner.

The Section B of the CTAs will be done individually by learners from 12 November. These will also be delivered to schools in good time.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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2007 WCED