Dr Nic Spaull, researcher at the University of Stellenbosch and Ms Carla Pereira, Chief Operations Officer at JET Education Services, were the main speakers at a recently held roundtable on the Annual National Assessments (ANAs). This roundtable was a collaboration with the Catholic Institute of Education. Both Dr Spaull and Ms Pereira admitted that the ANAs have its weaknesses, but it can be valuable as a diagnostic tool. The ANAs ensures that there is an increased attention on primary schooling; it aligns marking practices to a standardised level, and it provides some indication of what learning (and how much) is taking place. However, Dr Spaull reiterated that the ANAs are not comparable across grades or across ANAs cycles (year-on-year). Attention should be given to improving the ANAs by making it more independent (such as the matric exams which is administered by Umalusi) from the Department of Basic Education who is responsible for the setting and marking of the ANAs.
L-R: Presenters, Carla Pereira (Chief Operations Officer, JET Education Services), Dr Nic Spaull (Researcher, University of Stellenbosch) and Andre Pretorius (Principal, Heathfield Primary), and moderator, Mduduzi Qwabe (Researcher, Catholic Institute of Education)