The DBE hosted a delegation from Cameroon who came to South Africa on a study visit. The Ministry of Basic Education of Cameroon with the support of the World Bank is modernising its education system through the Cameroon Education Reform System Programme and will be establishing a Learning Assessment Unit. As part of the visit, the delegation was engaged in a series of meetings held at various venues including the DBE Offices, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), the Johannesburg North District and UMALUSI. The Cameroon delegation was led by Jean Paul Marcellin Mebada, Inspector-General of Education in the Ministry of Secondary Education.
The delegation had the first meeting with the DBE, focusing on the national and international assessments and examination landscape of the country. The meeting was chaired by Dr Barney Mthembu, Deputy Director-General for Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring. In his opening, the DDG informed the delegation that South Africa has over 24,800 schools, more than 13 million learners and 12 official languages. The Inspector-General shared that in Cameroon, the basic education system is made up of two subsystems namely, the French-based education system and the English-based system with 263 indigenous languages, and only 12 of the languages are taught in schools: “This is the challenge that we are facing as the Ministry as we are unsure which language to teach as a national language and it is Cameroon’s wish to gather valuable information in this regard,” said Jean-Paul Marcellin Mebada. Dr Rufus Poliah, Chief Director for Public Examinations and Assessments presented on the School-based assessment and highlighted that the core of it all is to “improve teacher capacity in both formative and summative assessment practice”.
The second meeting was held at the GDE which focused on assessments with a specific focus on examination printing, writing, and quality assurance. During their tour, they had a site visit to the Government Printers and Lebone Litho Printers. The third meeting was with the Johannesburg North District at Lofentse Girls High School where the district shared presentations on assessments at school level, including formative and summative assessments which the delegation expressed interest in learning more about. The fourth meeting was with Umalusi which focused on the NSC and quality assurance. All parties were encouraged by the visit, stating that it is important for African Countries to forge strong cooperation to advance the African Agenda 2063. The two Ministries committed to continue discussions with the aim of establishing formal cooperation in basic education which will include, but not be limited to assessment and curriculum.