MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT OF NAPTOSA, MR BASIL MANUEL, IN PRETORIA ON THURSDAY 05 December 2013 on the RESULTS OF THE ANNUAL NATIONAL ASSESSMENTS
NAPTOSA COMMENDS DBE ON THE 2013 ANAs
NAPTOSA commends the Department of Basic Education for accomplishing a seemingly faultless ANA in respect of logistics, considering that the ANA was written by approximately 7 million learners from Grade 1-9 at both public and subsidised private schools. Educators, school managers, and departmental officials must be complimented for assisting the DBE accomplish such a mammoth task, said Mr. Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers' Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA).
NAPTOSA welcomes the release of the results and trusts that these results will assist provinces in planning meaningful interventions which, can be used to inform teacher development (broadly) and specific interventions that may be needed in underperforming schools and/or districts to improve literacy and numeracy/mathematics, said Mr. Manuel.
The DBE interventions during this year appear to have been effective in some areas of Literacy while Numeracy/ Mathematics results across the country are still a major cause for concern, said Mr. Manuel. He added that NAPTOSA is perturbed by the following 2013 ANA results:
- The Grade 1, national average performance in Numeracy stands at 60% compared to 68% in 2012;
- The Grade 9, 2013 national average performance in Language is 43% (Home Language) and 33% (First Additional Language). The 2012 national average performance in Language stood at 43% (Home Language) and 35% (First Additional Language); and
- The Grade 9 Mathematics, 2012 average performance was 13%. The 2013 national average is 14%.
NAPTOSA is concerned about the lack of improvement in the Grade 1 Numeracy results. With almost universal access to Grade R, it would be expected that this should have a positive impact on performance in grade 1, but this appears not to have happened, said Mr Manuel.
Mr. Manuel said that, whilst the perceived improvement in Grade 3/6 Literacy and Numeracy/Mathematics is welcomed, concern must be expressed for the current cohort of Grade 9 learners. There will be a need for targeted intervention in the FET Phase for these learners. If this does not happen the Matric Class of 2016 could be a disaster.
It is prudent to compliment the 4.5 million learners who showed improved performance, said Mr. Manuel. Parents and educators must also be applauded for their efforts. It is hoped that these efforts would extend further next year, added Mr. Manuel.
In conclusion, Mr. Manuel reaffirmed that it is not the writing of the ANA tests that will make a difference. It is the analysis of the results, the planning of focused interventions and ongoing support that will eventually produce the desired results, said Mr. Manuel.