National assessment results 'shocking'

2012-12-04 14:49
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Johannesburg - Political parties expressed shock on Tuesday at the annual national assessment (ANA) results, and said they reflected badly on teachers.

The Democratic Alliance said the ANA results reflected an inequality gap in the education system.

"The assessments results imply that no-fee schools perform poorly compared to fee-paying schools," said DA Gauteng education spokesperson Khume Ramulifho.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga released the ANA results on Monday.

They showed that Grade 9 pupils had performed poorly in maths, scoring an average mark of 13%. The provincial maths marks ranged from 9% to 17%.


Ramulifho said the inequalities meant quality education was given to those who had the money to pay for their children's education.

"The DA believes that children must be afforded an opportunity to access quality education regardless of their background."

He said the government had to introduce an allowance to supplement the salaries of teachers who had a good knowledge of scarce subjects, or who produced excellent results in under-performing schools.

"This will provide learners from poor backgrounds access to quality learning and opportunities for advancement."

The African National Congress Youth League said the poor results in maths and literacy meant its goal of "achieving economic freedom in our lifetime" was challenged.

"How can we achieve economic freedom when our future leaders have difficulty reading, writing and counting?" it asked.

"We believe that more emphasis has to be placed on access to quality education and the development of entrepreneurial skills amongst young people."

The ANCYL said the department had to shift gears and improve the state of basic education.


The results were presented as a diagnostic tool so that interventions could be made.

"We request a comprehensive plan with real targets so we can evaluate performance against these next year in order to ascertain real progress made."

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the results reflected badly on teachers, especially if pupils were not able to read or count.

"We are calling for further, effective teacher in-service programmes for teachers - not the current touch-and-go programmes - and for improvement in school infrastructure so that teachers are able to provide better teaching to pupils in secure environments," said IFP education spokesperson Alfred Mpontshane.

Without well-trained teachers, the education system would continue to be a disaster and the education department would not achieve its target of 60% of pupils passing numeracy and literacy tests with a mark of at least 50% by 2014, he said.

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