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Over-emphasis on assessments: SADTU

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The implementation of Annual National Assessments (ANA) does not assist schools or the education system, the South African Democratic Teachers` Union (Sadtu) said on Sunday.

“The purpose of tests and assessments are to secure customised interventions as identified,” the union said in a statement.

“We cannot have a common tool to assess in a context that is so diverse and unequal.”

ANA was put in place by the basic education department to annually measure progress in pupil achievement to ensure that at least 60 percent of pupils achieve acceptable levels in literacy and numeracy.

It is used as a tool which assesses whether a child needs extra help or not.

Based on the results, teachers see to what extent pupils measure up to expectations and informs their lesson plans.

The ANA results also assists district officials in designing school improvement plans and to rendering appropriate support to schools.

Sadtu said it was not comfortable with the over-emphasis on assessments and tests.

It said the implementation of the ANA system was costly in terms of teaching time, funds allocated to administer the writing of the assessments, the frustration of teachers and the labelling of schools based on the results.

“It is just not assisting schools and the system at large.” SAPA

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