Media Release
Department of Basic Education

8 February, 2011

Annual National Assessments

Media Statement issued by the Department Of Basic Education on the Annual National Assessments

The Department of Basic Education wishes to inform all education stakeholders and in particular parents of learners in Grades 2-10 that the Annual National Assessments (ANA) will be conducted in all public schools next week from Tuesday 08 to Friday 11 February. This will involve over 6 million learners throughout South Africa.

This important intervention is one of the key strategies that the Department has put in place to improve learner achievement by 2014. The improvement of the quality and levels of educational outcomes in the schooling system is a top priority of both Government and the Department (DBE). The extent to which these outcomes are achieved will be monitored through the administration of annual national assessments (ANA).

The Department has set a target of improving numeracy and literacy attainment levels of Grades 3 and 6 from the current average attainment levels of between 27% and 38% to at least 60% by 2014. The ANA have been set by the national Department in order to provide a benchmark for all schools in the basic education sector.

Literacy and numeracy are critical foundational skills that are fundamental to all learning. Each learner will write a test in literacy and numeracy next week. The tests will be based on the performance levels of the grade of the previous year. The ANA timetable can be found on the Department's website: http://www.education.gov.za/ANAs.asp.

ANA is intended to provide regular, well-timed, valid and credible data on learner achievement in the education system. Assessment of learners' performance in the GET Band (Grades 1- 9) has previously been done at school level. Unlike examinations that are designed to inform decisions on learner promotion and progression, ANA data is meant to be used for both diagnostic purposes at individual learner level and decision-making purposes at systemic level.

At the individual learner level, the ANA results will provide teachers with empirical evidence on what the learner can and/or cannot do at a particular stage or grade and do so at the beginning of the school year. Schools will inform parents of their child's ANA performance in March 2011.

At systemic level, ANA provides reliable data for policy decisions related to provision and support required at various levels of the system. The ANA will make it easier for district offices to determine where support is most urgently needed and by allowing principals, teachers and parents to plan in a more informed manner how to improve performance.

The ANA will be administered and marked by teachers, moderated by Districts. At national level, the DBE will also sample scripts for moderation (limited to Grades 3, 6 and 9) to check if marking was done consistently across districts and provinces. Schools will then report individual learner results to the learner's parents. In the schools that shall be sampled for independent external verification of ANA at Grades 3, 6 and 9 marking and reporting to the Minister will be done by an independent agent.

The Minister is expected to report on the performance of Grade 3, 6 and 9 in ANA by March of every year, beginning in 2011. These grades are the exit point for each phase in the General Education and Training Band. From 2011, future ANA tests for a given school year will be administered at the beginning of the subsequent school year.

WHO WILL WRITE THE ANA IN 2011?

Grade in 2010 at which the ANA will be testedGrade in 2011 of learners who will be writing
Grade 1Grade 2
Grade 2Grade 3
Grade 3Grade 4
Grade 4Grade 5
Grade 5Grade 6
Grade 6Grade 7
Grade 7Grade 8 (not writing)
Grade 8Grade 9 (not writing)
Grade 9Grade 10

In the Foundation Phase, (grades 1-3) learners will write the ANA in the language of learning and teaching of the child ie in one of the eleven official languages.

In the Intermediate Phase, (grades 4-6) learners will write the tests in one of the languages of learning and teaching (English or Afrikaans)

In the Senior Phase only those learners who were in grade 9 in 2010 and who are now in grade 10 will write the ANA as a pilot project. 50 schools in each province have been selected to participate.

In 2011 Grade 9 tests will be piloted on samples of Grade 10 learners in 50 sample schools in each province (maximum of 25 learners from each sampled school totalling 25 learners per school x 50 schools per province x 9 provinces = 11 250 learners). In subsequent years Grade 9 ANA will follow the same pattern as the other grades.

These learners will write the language test in either the Home language or the First additional language and the Mathematics test.

The ANA timetable for 2011 can be found on the Department's website at http://www.education.gov.za.

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