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Education Dept to release learner achievement results

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Education Dept to release learner achievement results

by Gabi Khumalo
05 Nov 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Education Minister Naledi Pandor will on Thursday release the literacy and numeracy learner achievement results from the Systemic Evaluation Survey conducted at the Foundation Phase in 2007.

The baseline measures at grades three and six were established in 2001 and 2004.

This is after the department conducted the second cycle of Systemic Evaluations at the Grade three levels in October 2007, with technical support from an independent agency, JET Educational Services.

Curriculum specialists from national and provincial levels of the department also served as a reference group in the modification process, the department said.

Systemic evaluation tests are based on the National Curriculum Statement and focus on skills and competencies that can be assessed through paper and pencil exercises.

The department said the report covers the first phase of reporting, which relates specifically to learner achievement and will provide the context within which learner performance should be understood.

"It is released to provide timely feedback to schools, teachers and to the system, with a view to initiating prompt and appropriate interventions to improve the foundations for quality education," the department said.

A random sample of 53 972 grade three learners from 2 327 primary schools who are currently attending registered mainstream public schools participated in the survey.

"The 'excluded population' was learners in independent schools, special schools and public mainstream schools with grade three enrolments less than 15 learners," the department explained.

The learners were assessed through standardised written exercises to measure their levels of achievement in respect of the grade appropriate curriculum outcomes for literacy and numeracy.

Previous surveys suggested that learner performance was influenced by the language in which learning was conducted, books available at home, and the level of education of parents.

The survey further identified the nutritional status of learners, the nature and duration of time spent on a task, and the level and use of resources at the school as other factors.

"The comprehensive report will either confirm or deny the impact such influences [have] and will therefore indicate some of the areas where current interventions by the department need to be strengthened or where different strategies should be considered.

"The second round of the evaluations provides the department, as well as schools and teachers, who will be given extensive feedback on their results, with the necessary information to guide their ongoing interventions aimed at laying solid foundations for learning in the Foundation Phase by 2011," the department said. - BuaNews

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