Only 3% of Grade 9s got 50%+ in numeracy and literacy tests

2013-12-05 09:35

Only three percent of Grade 9 pupils achieved above 50% in the latest Annual National Assessment (ANA) tests.

The tests, which are set externally and have become an annual feature in the Department of Basic Education’s calendar, tests pupils’ maths and language skills.

Delivering this year’s results at the Mahlahle Primary School in Saulsville, west of Pretoria, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced measures to remedy the situation.

“In the next three years, Grade 9 exams will be externalised. The system should prepare for external exams. I’m happy we have discovered the weakest link. We should channel all our efforts and energy into this area,” she said.

She laid the blame at the door of incompetent teachers. “But we also tend to focus too much attention on Grade 11 and 12 and neglect the intermediate phase.”

Once Grade 9 exams are external, Motshekga said, teachers and pupils will be forced to take grades 7, 8 and 9 “very seriously”.

Given the bad performance in Grade 9, Motshekga said, she had appointed her department’s Maths, Science and Technology Task Team to investigate if the assessment was fair, valid and reliable. “The task team said the results are genuine and credible.”

Last year, only 2% of Grade 9s achieved more than 50% in the assessments and Motshekga said this nearly cost her her job. But generally, she said she was happy with the overall results of the ANA this year. “I’m confident that the performance in the education system is on an upward trend and all our interventions and programmes are beginning to produce the desired outcomes. Learner achievement in language and maths in the foundation phase is largely of adequate quality and level.” More highlights from the ANA results:




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