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Annual education assessments will happen despite boycott

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The Department of Basic Education has given the assurance this year’s Annual National Assessments (ANAs) will go ahead, despite a call for teachers to boycott the tests.

“As far as we are concerned the ANAs are going to happen as planned,” spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga told News24.

The assessments are expected to be held between September 15 and 18 for around 8.6 million pupils from Grade 1 to 9.

The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) said in a statement on Tuesday, following its national executive committee meeting, that the department is imposing policies that create “an environment that will compromise education and labour peace”.

It said there is an “ongoing attack on collective bargaining and a lack of proper consultation” by the department.

The union said this was why it is urging its members not to invigilate during the assessments.

“The NEC resolved to call upon all members of Sadtu to defend education by not administering ANAs until the [department] comes to the consultation table to deal with education matters in a responsible manner and not the antagonist approach they have adopted,” it said.

“Such an approach is destroying the culture of teaching and learning because teachers are tired of being undermined.”

Mhlanga said the department is meeting the union next week to get an official statement of its concerns.

The DA also weighed in on Sadtu’s call, saying the boycott will compromise the department’s ability to assess the levels of literacy and numeracy of pupils.

“The DA will write to Sadtu to request that they retract their call for the boycott in the interests the learners, teachers and ultimately the education that all our children deserve,” DA MP Annette Lovemore said.

“According to the most recent ANA results, only 3% of Grade 9 learners were found to be numerate at a grade-appropriate level – a far cry from the presidential target of 60%. The average score for the Grade 9 mathematics assessment was 10.8%.”

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