National Assessment of Learner Achievement (NALA): the 2009 grade 9 systemic evaluation: the national report

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2011
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Frempong, J.Kivilu, G.Diedericks, N.Claassen, M.Makgamatha, G.Haupt, L.Winnaar, A.Kanjee
KEYWORDS: EDUCATION, GRADE 9, LEARNER ASSESSMENT, NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6722

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Abstract

These findings suggest the need to revisit the South African social transformation agenda which has always been about redress of the past educational imbalances and the provision of equal educational opportunities for all sections of the population. The Action Plan to 2014 supports the argument that an education system is most effective when all learners including the poor and vulnerable can attribute their success in learning to the system. Our analysis clearly demonstrates that the South African education system is not working very well for the poor and vulnerable most of whom attend the poorest schools and the few that attend the best schools are often not successful. These findings highlight the magnitude of the challenge ahead of Action Plan 2014 to provide quality education for all children. Simply ensuring that schools have access to teaching and learning resources as proposed in the action plan will not be enough, it would require the mobilization of all education stakeholders, probably to the scale of what we did during the 2010 world cup, to galvanize support for our learners both at home and at school to work very hard and develop a Hunger for Success. We hope that such an approach would help South African realise her vision of a schooling systems where all students, irrespective of their background characteristics have the opportunity to succeed. To achieve this vision, the South Africa education system would need to function in such a way that students' success do not depend on their backgrounds. That is, if the school processes and policies in South Africa were inclusive supporting the learning of all students, then we would expect that learner achievement levels depend on neither the province where their schools are located nor their background characteristics. And most importantly, in such a scenario, we should expect our best schools to compensate for socioeconomic disadvantage to minimize the achievement gap associated with poverty. This is the only scenario that will guarantee that continuous improvement in access to the quality of educational provision would lead to successful learning outcomes for all learners. We note the few poor learners in poor school who are more successful than their counterparts in better schools and call for a research for an understanding of the schooling conditions that provide opportunities for these learners to succeed.