NAPTOSA welcomes the postponement of 2015 Annual National Assessment (ANA)
Statement released by the NAPTOSA Executive Director, Mr Henry Hendricks, on 11 September 2015
NAPTOSA welcomes the joint decision to postpone the 2015 ANA until 2016. The decision was taken following lengthy deliberations between the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and unions in the Education Sector on 8 and 10 September 2015 in Cape Town and Durban respectively. The postponement will allow for the remodelling of the ANA by a joint task team that will comprise of Union Principals and Senior DBE officials. It was also agreed that the remodelling will take place before the end of 2015.
NAPTOSA furthermore welcomes the commitment by the Director-General (DG) of the DBE to improve relations between the Department and Unions as well as making more resources available for teacher development. The DG also committed to address the outstanding issues in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) as a matter of urgency.
Members are reminded that NAPTOSA supported the initial intention of the ANA as a systemic evaluation tool, but opposed the manner in which the ANA evolved into a high-stakes annual assessment system. NAPTOSA is also not in favour of the extension of the ANA to include other grades in addition to the initial focus grades namely, Grades 3, 6 and 9.
NAPTOSA is pleased that the DBE finally adhered to Unions’ requests regarding the challenges presented by the ANA and is committed to working on remodelling the assessment system for future implementation.
A joint media briefing regarding the postponement of the 2015 ANA and the remodelling of the system will be held by the DG and Union Principals at OR Tambo International Airport on 11 September 2015 at 12:00.
NAPTOSA Position on the 2015 Annual National Assessments (ANA)
Statement released by the NAPTOSA Executive Director, Mr Henry Hendricks, on 3 September 2015
The ANA was conceptualised following poor learner performance in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMMS), as well as the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) studies. NAPTOSA, at the time, embraced the intention of a “home-grown” diagnostic testing system for selected grades. However, the ANA is no longer a diagnostic systemic evaluation tool, but has evolved into a content-based test with results being used to “label and punish” schools and districts in relation to performance. This labelling has changed the way in which schools and teachers perceive the ANA.
In 2014 we saw schools “teaching to the ANA” to the detriment of the curriculum. Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) instructed that days/weeks be dedicated to the preparation for the ANA, as well as schools having “pre- ANA tests” in some provinces. This abhorrent practice continues as a result of the pressure to perform at any cost. NAPTOSA denounces such practices and also rejects the proliferation and extension of the ANA to all grades as opposed to the initial focus grades, namely, grades 3, 6 and 9.
NAPTOSA is concerned that sufficient time is not allocated for schools to consolidate and implement the learning needs as identified.
NAPTOSA has consistently drawn its concerns about the ANA to the attention of both the Minister and the Department of Basic Education, but to no avail. These concerns include issues of changed focus from diagnostic to summative evaluation; lack of consolidation; the undesirability of a high stakes testing regime; and the absence of meaningful engagement. Other pertinent issues taken up with the Minister include the disruption of the academic year, additional educator workload, unfair demands on special schools, and change in focus and purpose. The timing of the ANA is also cause for concern.
DBE Launches the Teacher Indaba and Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme (TASP)
NAPTOSA Executive Director, Mr. Henry Hendricks, addressed the DBE Teacher’s Indaba and recent launch of the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme.
Below are extracts of the address:
"Programme Director, Madame Minister, Deputy Minister, DG, officials of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), and the South African Council for Teachers (SACE), Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), Unions,and the esteemed guests, 'Our Teachers' that are present . It is an honour and a great pleasure for me to present this message on behalf of NAPTOSA at this Teacher’s Indaba and Launch of the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme by DBE.
Let me briefly reflect on the well-being and in particular the mental health of teachers. NAPTOSA is concerned that the burdens our teachers are bearing is having a negative impact on their mental health. According to recent research, nine out of ten teachers over 35 are on hypertension medication. Why? We as teachers deal with all the problems in the world but have very little support structures ourselves. The EAP programmes have not made the difference they were intended to have . Some of our teachers are teaching in harrowing conditions subjected to poor infrastructure, lack of parental and even management support. Then we are targeted by miscreants in the profession. We are sitting on a time bomb. History tells us that many of our teachers will quit before retirement. The lack of curricular support aids and abets this numbing situation.
NAPTOSA is therefore pleased that the Minister has proposed a departure from celebrating the World Teachers’ Day (WTD) as an event on the day, 05 October, instead regarding it as a programme for teachers which will concern itself with the welfare of teachers throughout the year. 'The 2014 WTD seminar by DBE and stakeholders raised an awareness of the value of teachers and teaching in our society under the banner of the South African version of the UNESCO theme, “Our Teachers, Our Future'. (Extract from the WTD strategy- 2015)
On Sunday, 9 August, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of women’s equality. The first National Women's Day was celebrated in 1995. August has since been declared National Women’s Month. As we reflect on the last 20 years. Has anything changed? Reports suggest that eliminating violence against women is a prerequisite for gender equality and empowerment of women. Elimination of the gender disparity in education management is key to reducing the many dimensions of gender inequality.
Here are creative ways to get involved and make a difference during Women’s month:
- Get in touch with your local domestic violence shelter group and offer life skills services. - Sew simple cloth sanitary pads for girls who miss school due to lack of sanity pads. - Encourage girls to join or start women empowerment clubs. - Start a feminist book club! Read books by female authors, mentors young school girls. - Wear something purple in honour of the suffragettes on Women's Day (9 August) and get together with your female friends to celebrate Women’s Day. - Get involved with of Women’s networking groups such as Life line, ZAZI, Soul City Institute, SANAC Women’s Sector, RISE, Positive Women’s Network (PWN) and Caring4Girls.
Educate our girls today, empower women of tomorrow
Union success - 0.6% to be paid back to public servants
UNION SUCCESS ON 0.6% RECOVERY
Common sense and sterling leadership prevailed at a meeting of Unions, the Acting Minister Nathi Mthetwa of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and Ministers of the mandating committee. The meeting held on 25 June 2015, initiated by the President of the ILC, Mr Basil Manuel, agreed that the outstanding 0.6% owed to public servants will be implemented with immediate effect.
A special PSCBC meeting was called last night at which a new draft resolution was tabled that confirmed the 7% increase for the current year and the projected CPI+1% for the periods 2016/17 and 2017/2018. However, in a disappointing turn of events, the “Safety net” Clauses (Clauses 3.5 and 3.6 of PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015) had been removed. This means that if the projected CPI was lower than the actual CPI for the periods indicated there would be no claw-back of the shortfall.
The ILC is of the opinion that instead of removing the safety-net clauses an additional clause ought to have been included to clarify the position of the “claw- back” clause in the final year of the agreement. The majority party in the PSCBC signed-off Resolution 8 of 2015. This Resolution was not signed by the ILC. Whilst the agreement on the 7% is a victory, the ILC has serious reservations about the remaining period of the agreement.
With regard to the Medical Aid subsidy, the individual nature of the medical aid payments is delaying the payback, members are urged to be patient on this issue as it is receiving attention and is likely to be implemented in July 2015.
NAPTOSA thanks the leadership and members for their role in ensuring members rights are recognised and wishes all members a restful, well deserved winter vacation.
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