Motshekga can go write the ANA herself - PE education forum

NOVEMBER 26, 2015

The decision by the education department to suddenly begin with the Annual National Assessment (ANA) in December was crazy and impractical, the Port Elizabeth-based Northern Areas Education Forum (NAEF) said.

"This is crazy. We already took a decision that we will not administer ANA," NAEF secretary Richard Draai told News24.

"She [Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga] can go write them herself. Our kids are on holiday, they have already written exams and the teachers are busy with the reports. I don't know who is going to write the ANA."

The NAEF previously said that schools in Port Elizabeth's northern areas would boycott the ANAs because the education department has failed to respond to their concerns.

Violence broke out in the region in July when residents closed down their schools in protest against a shortage of teachers and non-payment of those who are already employed, among other problems.

The NAEF later decided to re-open the schools based on promises made by the department. However, it claimed at the time that the department had failed to deal with the problems in the area.

‘Not logistically impossible’

Primary schools have been told in a circular distributed on Tuesday that ANA tests are to be written from Thursday.

Despite the short notice 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.

‘Unfair situation’

The situation with the ANA was also expected to be discussed at the troubled Roodepoort Primary School in Gauteng.

"We are going to sit with the teachers to get their feeling around it, because this is an unfair situation," said Brendon Rousseau, the leader of Davidsonville Community Forum.

He is also the leader of a newly formed party called the Patriotic Association of SA.

The school has been mired in controversy, and has been closed several times, the latest instance being earlier this year for nearly a month.

It was also the site of several violent clashes between residents and the police. In one incident a petrol bomb was thrown at a deputy principal's car, and in another, a parent allegedly brought a gun onto the school premises.

A security company was also hired to guard the school.

Parents and residents had claimed the appointment of the principal and her two deputies was irregular. They also claimed that two reports, one clearing their appointment and another clearing them of financial mismanagement, were incorrect.