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THEME: ASSESSMENTS

Written By: Department of Basic Education
Published: 1/1/2019

This report investigates how many NSCs (and NSCs with a Bachelors-level pass) are produced each year during the 2014 to 2017 period, using NSC microdata which include all results, including supplementary and Multiple Examination Opportunity (MEO) results, and the subject results of part-time candidates. The analysis is a bit complex because youths repeat, some even obtaining the NSC more than once, meaning one has to track the reappearance of the same person in a later year. The conclusion is that over and above the ‘headline’ statistics released each year in the year-end examinations report of the DBE, currently around 35,000 additional NSCs are produced by the system. This figure removes the effect of duplicate NSCs, of which there are around 4,000 per year. This 35,000 achievement is largely ‘under the radar’ as there is virtually no public reporting on this. An aim of the current report is to bring the additional NSCs more integrally into national reporting systems. If one does not, we are essentially under-stating achievements.

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Written By: Department of Basic Education
Published: 1/1/2019

This report provides background details relating to the following graph, a graph intended to summarise improvements seen in three testing programmes:  Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).  Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ). Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

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Written By: Department of Basic Education
Published: 1/1/2019

There is not much data on what ICTs schools have and how they use them. Perhaps the most reliable and useful source, though it only has one or two relevant variables, is the TIMSS data. Its usefulness derives partly from the fact that this source allows for an international comparison. The following two graphs provide the TIMSS picture for South Africa and a few comparator countries – all developing countries. At the end of this document, are important explanations. The objective was to find out the extent of access to computers (or tablets) in the school generally, not just access for the purposes of studying mathematics or science, the two subjects tested in TIMSS. There are TIMSS questions on the latter, but these were not used.

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Written By: Department of Basic Education
Published: 4/1/2019

The aim of the current report is to provide an account of trends with respect to testing systems around the world, and the advice of global organisations which provide policy leadership. As is shown by the report, these organisations differ in their positions on standardised testing in many respects, in some cases to a large degree. Why this is the case is to some extent explored. The underlying assumption of the report is that the differing policy positions need to be understood by all who are engaged in the area of assessment policy. Without understanding the policy narrative of, say, both Education International (the world federation of teacher unions) and UNESCO, it becomes difficult to participate constructively in the debates.

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Written By: Department of Basic Education
Published: 4/1/2017

This report provides details which lead to a set of statistics gauging the success of education districts in growing the number of black African and coloured Grade 12 learners who perform well enough in mathematics to enter mathematically-oriented programmes in university, such as engineering. The focus of the report is on public ordinary schools. The three districts with the three best scores in the critical indicator of interest, which focusses on the annual percentage growth in the number of high-level mathematics achievers amongst black African and coloured learners in Grade 12, are (in descending order): Cofimvaba (Eastern Cape) Ngcobo (Eastern Cape) John Taolo Gaotsewe (Northern Cape).

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