SADTU welcomes the removal of ANA

19 October 2016

The South African Democratic Teachers` Union has welcomed DBE`s decision to finally get rid of the Annual National Assessment (ANA)

The Department of Basic Education`s Director General Mathanzima Mweli announced in Pretoria yesterday that ANA would be replaced by a new systematic assessment which will be written every three years.

The move is a victory not only for SADTU but all unions in the education sector that have tirelessly fought for the review of ANA as it was not serving the purpose it was intended for. ANA was introduced in 2011 to Grade 1 and 3 as a diagnostic systematic evaluation tool for literacy and numeracy and to come up with proper remedial actions

However, the opposite took place. Instead, ANA results were used to assess teacher competency and no fit for purpose interventions were introduced such as on-going professional development; schools were labeled as performing and underperforming increasing frustration among teachers and further demoralizing them. Many schools began to "teach to tests" in order to increase tests scores and abandoned the fundamentals of teaching which are to develop the mind of a learner to be a critical and independent thinker.

SADTU began its call for the removal of ANA at its National General Council in 2013 and reaffirmed our resolution in the National Congress in 2014. We resolved as follows:

  • That ANA should remain a systemic evaluation with clear time frames that would allow for prompt feedback to be given to schools before the results are publicized followed by meaningful intervention programmes.
  • ANA should not be abused to label teachers and schools, thereby demoralising and de-professionalising them
  • That ANA should be reviewed as an annual assessment and be substituted by assessments on a three-year cycle.
  • In the review process we take a look at all the existing assessment tools with a view of establishing synergy amongst all of them.

In 2015, all teacher unions echoed SADTU`s call and we boycotted administering the writing of ANA. The department of Basic education then established a task team made up of unions, education experts and departmental officials to remodel ANA. We are glad some of our concerns have been taken into account. The process of establishing an acceptable integrated assessment framework is on-going. We hope the Department will, moving forward, continue to fully engage unions in this process .SADTU will continue to take part in the finalization of the new system in order to ensure that the learners are the ultimate beneficiaries of the work we do.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157