ANA test findings ‘tragic’ — parties

2012-12-05 00:00

POLITICAL parties yesterday deplored the results of the Annual National Assessment (ANA), saying it was “tragic” that more than 50% of tested pupils were illiterate.

The Basic Education Department announced the ANA results on Monday, which revealed that Grade 9 pupils had scored an average of 13% in mathematics.

The Democratic Alliance basic education spokesperson, Annette Lovemore, said the party was “seriously concerned” about the poor performance in mathematics in grades 6 and 9.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the results were an “unmitigated disaster”.

The average for mathematics in Grade 1 was 68%, while the average for grades 6 and 9 were 27% and 13% respectively.

The DA said it was calling for:

• Discussion on different models and interventions to address the quality of maths and science in South Africa;

• Representations by education experts on how maths and science education can be improved;

• Input from successful schools in maths and science to provide their best practice methods; and

• An alternative model for teaching these critical subjects.

“It is tragic that less than half of our children can be considered literate in their own home language or in any language at all,” said Lovemore.

IFP education spokesperson Alfred Mpontshane said the results were shocking and a bad reflection on teachers.

“There is a great need for teachers to place their focus on their designated task of teaching and stepping away from politics,” Mpontshane said. “Many problems, especially in the Eastern Cape, have resulted from the actions of unionised teachers.”

The IFP said three things must happen in schools:

• Teachers must be properly qualified and motivated;

• The unionisation of teachers must be minimised and classroom evaluation increased; and

• The department must prioritise the training of Grade R teachers as they are not properly qualified and do not have maths skills.

“Without teachers who are well trained, our education system will continue to be a disaster and will result in the department not reaching its targets, which call for 60% of pupils to pass numeracy and literacy tests with a mark of at least 50% by 2014,” Mpontshane said.

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