Testing time for ANA test

2015-11-05 11:32
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - The future of the Annual National Assessment (ANA) hangs in the balance as teacher unions continue to refuse to allow their members to invigilate the tests.

The ANAs, which tests literacy and numeracy levels of pupils in grades 1 to 9, are expected to run from December 1 to 5.

“As teacher unions we are firm on our stance that we will not invigilate ANA,” said National Teachers’ Union (Natu) spokesperson Allen Thompson.

Last night, the Department of Basic Education was locked in a lengthy meeting with teacher unions who stood their ground.

ANAs were supposed to be written in September but were postponed after things threatened to get ugly.

Initially the department announced that the programme had been postponed until 2016, but later made a u-turn to say the tests would be written in December.

This angered the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), Professional Educators’ Union (PEU) SA Onderwysunie (SAOU) and Natu.

The unions subsequently issued a joint statement to “express shock” at the department’s u-turn.

Two months later the unions still insist that they will not invigilate the tests. “The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the unions agreed that a task team consisting of all the unions and senior DBE officials would be established to develop a remodelled, systemic and diagnostic tool instead of the ANA in its current form,” said Sadtu secretary-general Mugwena Maluleke.

“We call on the DBE to allow the necessary space for the established task team to do its work and enter into discussions with us in good faith,” he said.

Naptosa president Basil Manuel said the scheduling of ANA in December showed that “people at the top do not know what is happening on the ground”.

“At that time [December] teachers are busy marking final exams as they have to have reports ready before schools close. Some of the teachers are involved in the marking of matric exams.

“Pupils will also be exhausted after writing final exams. The timing is totally wrong,” he said.

SAOU’s chief executive officer Chris Klopper said the tests needed to be remodelled.

“Our problem is that currently the ANAs are written by each and every pupil and it doesn’t make sense. There is no diagnosis that explains where are the major trends and shortcomings so that we can to train our teachers to focus on those particular shortcomings,” he said.

President of PEU Malose Kutumela also highlighted the test’s “shortcomings”.

“ANAs in this current form is not really helping us,” he said.

National spokesperson of the Education Department Elijah Mhlanga said the department “was confident that the mediation process would bring positive results”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzbrug  |  ana  |  school

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