The Annual National Assessment (ANA) results released today show that significant progress has been made in a number of grades, while further interventions are required to ensure better performance across the system.
The ANA tests have been specifically designed to give education departments a basis for targeted improvement interventions. In Gauteng, these interventions have been in place in the foundation phase (grades 1-3) for the past two years and have produced massive improvements.
Literacy pass rates improved in grade 3 by 20 points from 35% to 55%. Numeracy is up by 17 points from 30% to 47%.
"While these results are very pleasing because they show us that the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy (GPLMS) is taking us in the right direction," said Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy. "We are aware that we are coming off a low base, and there is still much more to be done."
This year's Gauteng Grade 6 ANA results produced a more differentiated picture with improvements in home language and English first additional language from 35% to 49% and 43% respectively. Gauteng was the best performing province in grade 6 English with 40% of learners achieving over 50% pass mark. Maths results were more disappointing, with a drop of six percentage points.
"Taken together the grade 3 and grade 6 results show us clearly the value of intervening early to improve literacy and numeracy," said Creecy. "This second set of ANA results proves to us the value of across the board tests at various stages on the road to matric because
the results give us the detailed insights we need to plan for and implement teaching and learning improvements."
The GPLMS was introduced in January 2010 in grades 1-3 in 800 township schools. It is a combination of formal in-service training, on-site coaching, just-in-time training, the provision of lesson plans, standardised assessment material. Teachers are given graded readers, teacher guidelines and phonics programme specific to each class to improve language skills, and mental maths and numeracy kits for mathematics.
In 2011, the same programme was extended to grades 4-7 in the same 800 schools. The grade 9 tests, instituted for the first time this year are a case in point. Showing challenges in mathematics, this year's results provide the baseline the GDE will use going forward to test the efficacy of its interventions.
"We have already begun work on an intervention plan to improve the Grade 9 ANA results, details of which we will announce at the beginning of the new school year," said Creecy.
"But along with educators around the world we are aware this necessary transformation of how we equip young people to contribute to economic development and prosperity of our country cannot happen overnight. The programme, based on the hard facts and figures ANA gives us, will need the determination of all of us: the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), teachers and learners, parents, the community and business to succeed."
Issued by: Gauteng Education