Dr. Allan Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
071 682 6806
The Northern Cape Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the Annual National Assessments (ANAs) results released yesterday indicating a general national improvement in literary and numeracy in the grades tested.
However closer scrutiny of the data, especially related to the Northern Cape, exposes areas of immense concern.
Mirroring the national trend, the provincial literacy and numeracy rates show a progressive regression the higher up the grades you look. From what was already a low-base, the results from Grades 4 to 9, in particular, see the greatest deterioration. The numeracy levels drop from a shocking 23% in Grade 4 of learners achieving a pass mark, to a mere 2% in Grade 9.
The literacy rates from Grades 4 to 9 effectively remain stagnant both in the average percentage mark and in the percentage of learners achieving 50% and more in both the Home Language and First Additional Language categories. In the Home Language category, 39% of Grade 4’s, 31% of Grade 5’s, 29% of Grade 6’s and 36% of Grade 9’s received a pass mark. It cannot be acceptable that on average in the Northern Cape, two out of every three learners tested do not achieve a pass mark on the literacy tests.
The DA welcomes the drastic improvement of results at the lower grades tested, and the seeming progress when compared to the 2011 ANAs report is encouraging. Indeed the improvements in lower grades show that there must be best practice methods which the Department employed to yield better results. Such methodology needs to be extended to the higher grades.
However we caution the Northern Cape Provincial Education Department from becoming complacent, as these results rather place greater responsibility on Education MEC, Grizelda Cjiekella, and her officials to work even harder. I will be submitting parliamentary questions to find out what plans the Department has put in place to address the regression in results in the higher grades, and what steps they will take to improve the quality of learning in the province.