Pupils’ test chaos continues:: inadequate material and no papers for some PMB schools

2011-02-10 00:00

THE Annual National Assessment (ANA) remained in a chaotic state yesterday as some schools in Pietermaritzburg failed to receive test papers and others were given inadequate materials for pupils to write the tests.

The deputy president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa, Basil Manuel, said, “The situation remains chaotic in a sense that some of the schools did not get the test papers and therefore did not write at all, and there was a shortage of exam papers or incomplete papers.”

Manuel said that if principals ran schools in the way the Education Department has conducted the tests, the very same department would fire them.

“People who are responsible for this must be held accountable because schools have lost a lot of teaching time,” he added.

The deputy secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union in KZN, Siyabonga Mdletshe, said it would engage the department to ensure there is no repeat of the chaos.

He said some schools had to print papers when they did not have the equipment to do so.

Basic Education spokesperson Granville Whittle said in a statement: “While the department acknowledges that there have been some instances of shortages of papers, systems have been put in place to ensure that the assessment process is carried out smoothly.”

He said the department relies on provinces, districts and circuits in the distribution of materials.

“Reports to the department confirm that in the majority of schools in the country [six million learners in more than 19 000 schools] the assessment process is under way.

Whittle said the department decided to conduct the assessment at the beginning of the year so that pupils are tested at the level of their previous grade.

Test results will inform the parents, teachers, schools and officials of the progress of pupils in acquiring foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

He said the rationale behind the tests is that they can inform teachers’ planning and the system of key areas where intervention has to occur.

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