‘All teachers, not only matric examiners, should be competent’

By admin
05 September 2013

Competency tests for markers in the final matric exams wouldn’t be necessary if teachers with appropriate qualifications were appointed, says Dr Gustav Niebuhr, head of the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (Sacai)

, which will present the National Senior Certificate (NSC) final in 2014.

Responding to questions from YOU, Niebuhr said the problem of incompetent examiners wouldn’t be solved by competency tests. “Examiners should be appointed based on their experience, a proven track record as matric educators in the relevant subject and having the necessary teaching qualifications.”

This comes after minister of basic education Angie Motshekga’s written reply last week to a question in parliament about this year’s markers. “Not all provincial departments will be implementing the competency tests for examiners in 2013 as initially planned,” she said, according to a Sapa report.

Most examiners for this year’s matric final have already been appointed. “The official implementation of the competency tests are planned for 2014,” Motshekga said.

According to Niebuhr matrics should take priority when examiners are appointed. “If there’s any chance whatsoever that the appointment of examiners could disadvantage a child, the process should be reviewed.”

More competent examiners should also be trained, he believes. Teachers marking for the first time should be given papers that aren’t complicated and don’t require insight, he says. “The onus would therefore be on the chief examiner to ensure that those papers that are difficult to mark are examined correctly.”

Some of the teachers on YOU’s Teachers for Change Facebook page feel competency tests are essential in appointing examiners. “Especially where replies require insight and don’t involve just answers, as in the case of literature for example,” writes Anne-Marie Potgieter.

Teacher Abel de Vries says competent teachers are far more important than competency tests for examiners. “It makes no sense to entrust teachers with educating and marking all year round but then to want to subject those same teachers to a selection process to mark at the end of the year. Shouldn’t the competency test rather be used for admission to the profession?”

? Shané Barnard

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