Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

7 February, 2011

WCED acts to remedy logistical delays with the ANA's

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

Tomorrow, all schools across the country are expected to write the Annual National Assessment (ANA) tests as determined by the National Department of Basic Education (DBE).

Learners from Grades 2 to 7 and Grades 10 are set to write the tests which were delayed from last year, which will assess learners’ skills in literacy and numeracy in Grades 1- 6 and Grade 9.

The Western Cape is very supportive of this initiative as we believe testing is an essential element of any strategy in improving learner outcomes.

As a result of our belief in the primacy of testing we already lead the rest of the country in extensive testing in literacy and numeracy. Last year we undertook to test all learners in Grade 3 and 6, and for the first time ever, in Grade 9. The Western Cape has tested Grade 3 and 6 learners since 2002.

However, in terms of the Annual National Assessments, there have been some challenges in the distribution of the tests by the DBE.

Unlike in previous years, this year the DBE was responsible for the printing, distribution and delivery of the assessment task tests to education districts throughout South Africa.

By the end of last week it was evident that not all of the eight education districts in the Western Cape had received the necessary test documents. Upon further investigation it was revealed that some schools were experiencing shortages of the tests, while others had yet to receive any. For example, by last Friday, no papers had been delivered to schools in the Overberg District.

In other cases, some schools had received the wrong scripts in terms of their language policy. Furthermore, the assessment task packs were supposed to be distributed in packs of 20. The number of assessment tasks tests in these packs has varied, thus causing shortages at some schools.

Due to our belief in the importance of these tests, the WCED has done everything possible to remedy these shortcomings. Most specifically, the WCED have made available their printing and other resources to offset the delays in distribution and the shortages experienced at some of our schools.

Last week, the WCED began printing and delivering additional materials for distribution.

However, despite the additional printing and logistical arrangements for distribution, we believe that only 85% of our schools involved will be writing within the timeframes set by the national department.

In cases where it is not possible for the assessments to be written on the specified days, schools will be encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

We have also informed schools that should they not receive the correct number of tests per grade allocation, then they should select a random sample of learners to sit and write the tests from their schools.

The WCED remains committed to participating in the Annual National Assessments and are currently working around the clock to ensure that as many tests are distributed as possible. The majority of schools in the Overberg district are expected to receive the tests printed and distributed by the WCED today.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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