Pretoria — In the less than 20 hours, more than seven million learners in Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 9 would be sitting for this year's Annual National Assessments (ANAs).
The ANAs, which are conducted by the Department of Basic Education, will be written from 18 - 21 September 2012 in Grades 1 to 6 and 9 in all public schools and Grade 3 or 6 in all independent primary schools that are eligible for government subsidy.
Over seven million learners across more than 20 000 schools will write tests in languages and mathematics. Grades 1, 2, 4 and 5 will be sitting for their language paper on 18 September, whilst Grades 3, 6 and 9 write their language on 19 September.
Grades 1, 2, 4 and 5 will on 20 September sit again for mathematics, while Grades 3, 6 and 9 will write their mathematics paper on 21 September 2012. The papers are one hour and two hours respectively, depending on the grade.
The ANAs are written annually in all public schools to establish an objective benchmark by which to measure literacy and numeracy achievement in primary schools.
The department administers the ANAs in order to identify and effect appropriate interventions where needed, while learners are still in earlier grades.
The ANAs put the literacy and numeracy skills of the country's young learners to the test as a pivotal mechanism for monitoring and tracking the achievement of the goals set in the department's action plan.
In order to ensure that all seven million learners write the ANAs under similar conditions, the department has developed a test administration manual that will be used in all the schools. The manual is one of the important measures to standardise the conduct of ANAs.
The ANA scripts will be marked by the subject teachers in each school. To verify the quality of marking done in schools, the department and provincial education departments will conduct centralised moderation sessions.
Samples of scripts marked at school will be re-marked by selected teams of teachers under the supervision of trained chief markers.
The results emanating from the 2012 ANA will be analysed at national, provincial, district and school level with a view to identifying what learners can or cannot do in literacy and numeracy, in order to inform appropriate interventions.
The department is using the ANAs as an early identification tool and as an instrument to measure the progress made by the department in attaining its goals set in Action 2014: Towards Schooling 2015, which will go a long way towards achieving its main goal of providing quality basic education.