Pupils forced to write disguised ANA tests‚ says Sadtu


Pupils forced to write disguised ANA tests‚ says Sadtu

Taschica Pillay | 2017-03-22 16:31:19.0

An empty classroom. File photo.

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Schools in KwaZulu-Natal have been accused of forcing children to write the Annual National Assessment (ANA) tests in disguise.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in KwaZulu Natal said on Wednesday that it had been brought to their attention that a number of districts and circuits were forcing teachers to give children in grades three‚ six and nine common tests.

These tests‚ Sadtu said were ANAs in disguise.

The department of basic education confirmed that it would no longer conduct the tests after objections by a number of teacher unions in October last year. Sadtu claimed the tests demoralised and demotivated teachers.

“Those districts are being mischievous as there is no directive from the education department. The only thing that the head office did was to distribute question papers for revision purposes. No school is expected to write those papers‚” said Sadtu’s deputy provincial secretary Bheki Shandu.

The union called on its members to not participate in the common tests.

Shandu said it was important for educators to set their own papers as part of their development.

“Our position with ANA is that it must be conducted once in three years and not annually. This would allow the department to get results and implement interventions. Some schools don’t have teachers for certain subjects which means not all the work has been covered and would therefore be impossible to write common papers‚” said Shandu.

He said those papers were mainly for revision purposes.

“That was to allow teachers to see how far they were with their learners and be able to make adjustments accordingly in the second term‚” he said.

Kwazi Mthethwa‚ spokesman for the provincial education department said he believed some of the schools or districts were using these tests for quarterly assessments.

However he said that this could impact on the results of standardised testing as it was scheduled to be written on a common date.

“It is dangerous to use these papers for term one assessments because there is no set time table. It is therefore possible that some schools may write papers which have been written somewhere‚ thus killing the reliability and validity of results‚” said Mthethwa.

– TMG Digital/The Times

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