Glitches hamper schools’ assessment testing

Glitches in the distribution of material means only 85% of Western Cape schools will write the annual national assessment tests tomorrow, according to the province.

Provincial education minister Donald Grant said on Monday the tests were supposed to be distributed by the national basic education department.

However there had been “some challenges”.

“By the end of last week it was evident that not all of the eight education districts in the Western Cape had received the necessary test documents,” he said.

“Upon further investigation it was revealed that some schools were experiencing shortages of the tests, while others had yet to receive any.

“For example, by last Friday, no papers had been delivered to schools in the Overberg district.”

Some schools had received scripts in the wrong language.

In addition, Grant said, though scripts were supposed to be distributed in packs of 20, the number had varied, causing
shortages at some schools.

Grant said his department was doing “everything possible” to remedy these shortcomings.

Last week, the department began printing and delivering additional materials for distribution.

Most Overberg schools were expected to receive the tests printed and distributed by the province today.

“However, despite the additional printing and logistical arrangements for distribution, we believe that only 85% of our schools involved will be writing within the timeframes set by the national department,” he said.

“In cases where it is not possible for the assessments to be written on the specified days, schools will be encouraged to do so as soon as possible.”

Schools had also been told that should they not receive the correct number of tests, they should select a random sample of learners to write them.

Pupils from grades two to seven and grade 10 are set to write the tests, which were delayed from last year by the teachers’ strike.

They would assess literacy and numeracy for grades one to six and grade nine.

This was the first year that the national department was responsible for the printing, distribution and delivery of the tests to education districts throughout South Africa.

The national department’s spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.?

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