Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli, Basic Education Director-General, this week, continued with his virtual Provincial Engagement Programme. Provincial education officials from the Northern Cape and North West Provinces tabled critical strategies to enhance quality education during 2021.
As 2020 was a difficult year, it was agreed that, henceforth, a paradigm shift will be required to propel underperforming schools to achieve better results during the 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. Presentations emphasised that, through lessons learnt from the Class of 2020, education officials and school principals should be better prepared to initiate consolidated learner support programmes to propel the Basic Education Sector to achieve its desired learning outcomes.
Tabling a brief profile of the 2021 NSC Class and Grades R to 11, both provinces shared common ground and plans aimed at ensuring system-wide functionality (quantitative and qualitative) towards strengthening attempts to improve learning outcomes. These plans include support to teachers and learners with a special focus on average, progressed and borderline learners, underperforming schools and novice teachers. It is envisaged that this approach will create an enabling environment for quality teaching and learning going forward. The Northern Cape province agreed that the strict implementation of pre- and post-moderation at all levels is required. This would intensify the moderation of learner tasks to ensure the reliability and validity of assessment. The provision of common assessment tasks and common papers in the districts and schools will also be considered.
The North West province reported that, “During 2020, the Grade 11 cohort had the highest pass rate. They were stronger than the two previous cohorts in Grade 8 and 9, but weaker than the 2020 group in Grade 10. One of the contributing factors was the fact that they experienced learning losses of around 25% on average for all subjects in Grade 11 last year. The group is also larger (preliminary at 41,202) compared to previous cohorts. Although there was a general upward performance for grades over the past two to three years, the margin of improvement for 2020 was much higher and could be attributed to the following: the effective implementation of different assessment instruments; adjustment in the ratio between School-based Assessments and examination marks; change in the form of assessment from examinations to tests; assessments based on only the scope covered per school; and the trimming of content in the annual teaching plans”. The province has already commenced with additional classes to extend contact time. These are conducted at individual schools (Bojanala), subject clusters (Dr Ruth Mompati and Ngaka Modiri Molema) and subject camps (Dr Kenneth Kaunda).
The DG’s Virtual Provincial Engagements have already covered six provinces with the remaining provinces to be covered by the end of March 2021.