Implement solutions from the first day of school

Safiyia Stanfley, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education

It is absolutely shocking that 92% of grade 9 learners cannot get more than 30% for Mathematics. The Northern Cape’s Annual National Assessment results show that serious intervention is needed to improve the quality of education in the province.

The ANA results should be used by the provincial department as a diagnostic tool. It should be used to identify problems and then to implement solutions. Solutions cannot just be plans on paper; it must be actively carried out throughout the province. Schools who achieve low marks should not be victimised, but assisted to improve. The purpose of ANAs are not to make a teacher or learner feel inferior, but to highlight gaps in the system which must then be addressed by the department. Solutions must be implemented from the first day of each school year. It cannot wait until the third quarter or until results are released.

The provincial department should look at continuous support for both teacher and learner. Training and mentoring for teachers should be prioritised, so that we have enough teachers who can teach Mathematics in a simple, effective way. It is incredibly worrying that less than 3% of grade 9 learners in the province could achieve more than 50% for Mathematics.

It is welcome to note that the province has achieved the highest average for grade 9 first additional language in the country. It should serve as motivation for the department and for teachers to improve the results in 2015.