ANA tests must go ahead - education dept

NOVEMBER 26, 2015

Primary schools have been told in a circular that Annual National Assessment (ANA) tests are to be written from Thursday.

Even though the circular was only distributed on Tuesday, basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said it was "nothing that is logistically impossible".

"All schools must do them between tomorrow [Thursday] and December 4. Schools must look at the practicalities, but they have to be written."

The ANAs, which test literacy and numeracy, were initially scheduled to start in September. But teacher trade unions objected to them in their current format and asked that they be remodelled.

A task team was set up and a meditation process followed.

On September 18, it was announced that the Council of Education Ministers had decided that ANAs would be written from December 1 to 4.

Trade unions released a joint statement a few days later expressing their "shock and disapproval".

"It must be noted that the normal year-end examination will be conducted by all schools prior to this date and all teachers will be otherwise engaged," the trade unions said in the statement.

"As organised labour, we reiterate our position that we will not be administering the ANA in 2015."

Mhlanga said schools had been prepared to write since September.

He said a draft agreement with trade unions was supposed to be signed last week. However, this did not happen.

News24 has seen a copy of the circular sent out by Director General Matanzima Mweli on Tuesday.

Mweli said in the circular that the ANA results were not used to promote or progress pupils. The aim was to monitor and track performance and weaknesses in Grades 1-9.

In it, he said that schools had to determine the timetable for the writing of the ANA tests.

"The marking of the tests will be done by the teachers at school and should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016."

----News24wire