The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) would like to applaud the provinces that have shown improvement in the ANA results - Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal and Free State.

We however, want to express our disappointment at the little or no improvement of the results in general
Although the level of participation has, in the third year of ANA, increased dramatically to more than seven million learners, the majority are still not performing to the required levels.

Judging by the state of results which have shown very little or no increase from last year, one can deduce that the Department of Basic Education is not using previous years’ ANA results to come up with effective improvement strategies to close the shortfalls as identified.

The continuous writing of tests could easily become a matter of compliance and formality unless we identify the problems and work on them.

When ANA was implemented, its purpose was to serve as a diagnostic tool for the system. However, we do not see that. To us, ANA is used to stigmatize and label schools and teachers and as a result, teachers are now teaching towards ANA. There is no creativity and innovation of teaching and as such de-professionalize and lowers the morale of teachers..

SADTU in its National General Council (NGC) held in October resolved that ANA remain a diagnostic tool with clear time frames that would allow for prompt feedback to be given  before the results are publicized followed by meaningful intervention programmes. We have not seen these intervention programmes that speak to the challenges as identified by ANA.

The Annual National Assessment highlighted that National standardized tests ignore the contextual factors that prevail in school through, amongst others, language use in setting of question papers and allocation of resources.

ANA has once more shown class division and how it impacts on learning, teaching and performance of learners in South African schools.

The performance of learners from affluent communities and well-resourced schools continue to perform better than learners from poorer communities and under-resourced schools.

As SADTU we are calling of the Basic Education Department to priorities continuous quality professional development of all teachers and the provision of resources to all schools.

As SADTU we want to acknowledge all teachers that did their best under challenging circumstance at schools.

As we end the school year tomorrow we wish all SADTU members, their families and loved ones a safe and restful holiday season. May you come back in 2014 rejuvenated and ready to take on another school year.

SADTU lives because of you. Let us take the time to thank all of you for being members of our mighty union.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat