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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION THE NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE: QUALITY AND STANDARDS 24 April 2012

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Title: PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION THE NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE: QUALITY AND STANDARDS 24 April 2012


1
PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION THE
NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE QUALITY AND
STANDARDS 24 April 2012
2
Presentation outline
  • Introduction
  • 2. Qualification Design
  • 3. The Curriculum
  • Examinations and Assessment
  • 5. Learner Output
  • 6. Evaluation of the NSC
  • 7. Conclusion

3
1. Introduction
  • A standard is a measure of what is adequate or a
    socially or practically described level of
    performance.
  • Kellaghan (2002) stated that judgments regarding
    standards involve a degree of uncertainty, and
    not all individuals would arrive at the same
    conclusion about the merits of an object or
    individual.
  • (c) Standards are illusive and in the main are
    developed by a process of national consensus
    seeking.

4
1. Introduction
  • The standard of the National Senior Certificate
    is embodied in the
  • Qualification design
  • Curriculum
  • Examination and Assessment
  • Learner outputs

5
2. Qualification Design
  • NSC a 130 credit certificate at L4 on the NQF
  • Intention of the qualification is to enrich the
    learner with a combination of learning outcomes
    that
  • Provide the learner with applied competence and a
    basis for further learning
  • Enrich qualifying learner
  • Provide benefit to society and economy(WOW)
  • Internationally comparable
  • Integrated assessment
  • School leaving certificate and a Certificate for
    admission to university

6
2. Qualification Design
  • Based on high knowledge, high skills curriculum
    (NCS)
  • Learning Outcomes are subject-specific
  • Describes Knowledge, Skills and Values (KSVs) to
    be acquired by end of Grade 12
  • Drawn directly from the COs and DOs of the
    constitution
  • Assessment standards are grade specific.
  • Sets up high expectations of what all South
    Africans can achieve.
  • Empowerment of sections of the population
    previously disempowered by the lack of knowledge
    and skills.
  • Learning fields providing wide and diverse
    opportunities for school leavers Sciences,
    Technology, Mathematics, Agriculture, Business,
    Human and Social Studies, Services, Languages
    and Arts

7
2. Qualification Design
  • Structure of the Qualification
  • Internal and external assessment requirements in
    each of 7 subjects
  • One language at Home Language level
  • One language at First Additional level
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • 3 subjects from approved list

8
2. Qualification Design
  • Scale of Achievement for Reporting and Recording
  • CODE RATING MARKS ()
  • 7 Outstanding 80-100
  • 6 Meritorious 70-79
  • 5 Substantial 60-69
  • 4 Adequate 50-59
  • 3 Moderate 40-49
  • 2 Elementary 30-39
  • 1 Not achieved 0-29

9
3. Qualification Design
  • Promotion and Certification Requirements
  • NSC
  • Achieved 40 in 3 subjects, one of which is an
    official language at home language level.
  • 30 in three subjects.
  • School based assessment is submitted in the
    subject failed.
  • Condonation in one subject if the candidate
    requires up to a maximum of 2 to pass at the 30
    or 40 level.

10
2. Qualification Design
  • Promotion and Certification Requirements
  • NSC (Bachelors)
  • In addition to the NSC requirements the following
    additional criteria must be satisfied
  • LOLT at 30
  • 4 subjects at 50 (designated list)

11
2. Qualification Design
  • Comparison of the NSC and the SC
  • NSC requires a seven subject offering, SC six.
  • NSC Mathematics or Maths Literacy and Life
    Orientation compulsory.
  • Candidate could pass the SC with a converted pass
    of 25, provided an aggregate of 720 was
    obtained.
  • Aggregate made redundant in the NSC with the
    specific requirement of 3 at 30 and 3 at 40

12
2. Qualification Design
  • Comparison of the NSC and the SC
  • Admission to bachelors in the SC pass 4 subjects
    at 40 and 2 subjects at 33.3.
  • Admission to bachelors in the NSC 4 subjects at
    50 and remaining subjects at 30, (home language
    must be at 40).
  • All subjects offered for the NSC are at one level
    which is equivalent to the Higher Grade.

13
3. The Curriculum
  • Teaching and Learning Current Interventions
  • Teacher development programmes targeting teachers
    in under-performing schools.
  • Development of support material Newspaper
    supplements, self- study guides, worksheets,
    exemplar papers, radio broadcast lessons.
  • Subject support strategies subject workshops
    focusing on content gaps.
  • Resource material on Thutong portal and DBE
    website.
  • Dinaledi intervention for Maths and science

14
3. The Curriculum
  • In 2010 minister conducted hearings across the
    country focusing on the challenges in the
    implementation of the NCS from Grade R-12
  • 252 electronic and 173 written submissions were
    received
  • No evidence regarding opposition to the NCS at
    any point, but rather on implementation
    challenges
  • Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements(CAPs)
    a response to concerns faced by teachers in
    implementing NCS grades R -12
  • No fundamental curriculum policy changes in CAPs
    compared to the NCS
  • addresses concerns regarding teacher workload
    (particularly around assessment expectations and
    management)
  • Coherence between GET and FET curriculum
    expectations and guideline documents
  • Availability, clarity and usefulness of policy
    documents

15
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Question papers
  • In the setting of question papers the following
    is observed
  • Set high quality, error free question papers
    that
  • Accurately reflect and assess students learning
    in line with curriculum goals
  • Comply with policy and is of appropriate standard
  • Generate valid and accurate data on learner
    performance
  • Influence better practice by providing accurate
    and useful feedback to learning and teaching
  • (b) Maintain consistency in the standard and
    quality of the papers from year to year, across
    papers and subjects

15
16
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Quality of question papers have consistently
    improved over
  • the past 4 years
  • Improvements in terms of what is assessed
  • Knowledge, Skills and Values are assessed
  • Critical thinking, problem solving and analytical
    skills are assessed across all subjects in
    addition to specific skills required in the
    subject
  • A wide variety of different skills are assessed
    across different subjects allowing each
    matriculant offering 7 subjects to be well
    grounded in a variety of skills
  • (b) Improvements in standard of the question
    paper
  • Cognitive demand spread in compliance with
    accepted taxonomy

17
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • (c) Item development processes that ensures high
    quality items
  • Question papers set by a panel of examiners (4
    6 members)
  • Examiners are thoroughly scrutinised before being
    appointed.
  • National Subject experts.
  • Question papers are internally moderated by an
    independent subject expert.
  • Question papers are subjected to external
    moderation by Umalusi panel of moderators
    (includes University subject experts)

18
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Item development processes that ensures high
    quality items
  • Feedback from teachers, marking reports, Umalusi,
    the general public and international
    benchmarking constantly utilized in the setting
    / review of papers for the next cycle.
  • Increased rigor in moderation processes
  • Language simplification
  • Rigorous quality assurance processes
  • Introduction of pre-test takers and feedback for
    final refinement

19
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • (d) Clear specifications and definition of
    content area and scope.
  • Development of Examination Guidelines, which are
    reviewed as the need arises
  • (e) Feedback to teaching and learning
  • Qualitative subject reports compiled in major
    subjects highlighting areas of weakness,
    misconceptions in learners responses and areas
    of focus for learning and teaching

20
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • (d) Capacity of Examining Panels
  • Review of panel members on a continuous basis.
  • On going training of examiners and moderators.
  • Piloting of Item Banking

21
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • (e) National and International Benchmarking of
    Question Papers
  • In 2002 the DBE benchmarked the Senior
    Certificate question papers with the Scottish
    Qualification Authority. The report was used in
    assisting to improve the quality of the Senior
    Certificate papers(Old qualification)
  • In 2007 the DBE benchmarked ten NSC subjects with
    the Scottish Qualification Authority, Cambridge
    International Examinations and Board of Studies
    New South Wales (Australia)
  • In 2011 the DBE benchmarked 7 NSC subjects with
    the SQA, CIE, BSNSW and HESA in a benchmarking
    process.

22
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • The strengths were identified to be as follows
  • Consensus among the four institutions that the
    question papers are well designed by
    international standards and assess what they
    purport to assess.
  • They adequately measure the learning outcomes and
    assessment standards that are articulated in the
    National Curriculum Statement and the Subject
    Assessment Guidelines.
  • There is also agreement that the question papers
    assess analytical, application and evaluative
    skills and some papers are considered to reflect
    the latest development in the subject.

23
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • The strengths were identified to be as follows
  • The content assessed by question papers is in the
    main, comparable to CIE, SQA and BSNSW.
  • The skills that are assessed by the curriculum
    are said to be internationally comparable and
    prepare learners appropriately for the global
    community.
  • Most subjects were said to assess critical
    thinking and problem solving skills demanded by
    the curriculum.

24
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • The weaknesses were identified as follows 
  • Question papers are too long and tend to cover
    almost the entire syllabus content.
  • Too much content limit the items from assessing
    intellectual depth.
  • Correlation between mark allocations, time
    allocations and item difficulty.
  • Multiple choice, matching and fill-in the missing
    words are very simple and require a simple recall
    response from candidates.

25
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Quality and standard is observed in Marking
    through 
  • Appointment of competent markers. Inclusion of
    learner performance as a selection criterion in
    most PEDs. Piloting of competency tests.
  • Standardisation of marking guidelines at a
    national meeting for all subjects, prior to
    marking.
  • Standardisation of the application of the marking
    guideline through training using sample scripts.
  • Stringent moderation procedures conducted by the
    DBE, Umalusi and the PED.

26
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Quality and standard is observed in Marking
    through 
  • Pyramidal structure in the internal
    moderation/supervision process ratio of 5 1.
  • Outcomes of the re-mark process utilised in the
    review of markers and training.

27
4. Examinations and Assessment
  • Life Orientation (LO)
  • Has its unique place in the NSC.
  • Focuses on Life Skills, civic responsibilities,
    values, morals and health.
  • Skills are developed from birth.
  • Therefore, performance in LO, cannot be compared
    to other academic subjects.
  • Nonetheless, common assessment task developed and
    approved by Umalusi, for implementation in 2012.
  • Together with the Common Assessment Task -
    developed an Assessment Guideline, and an
    Exemplar.
  • Moderation by PED and DBE.

28
5. Learner outputs
  • Learner output has improved in terms of
  • Overall pass rate.
  • Numbers obtaining admission to University.
  • Number of passes in Mathematics and Physical
    Science.
  • Retention rate is a challenge
  • Compared to prior to 1994, retention rates have
    improved significantly.
  • In 1966 85 of 7 -14 year olds were in Primary
    school. Only half of this population would reach
    standard 2 (grade 4) and 25 would reach Std 6
    (Grade 8).
  • The average school life of African learners was 4
    years.
  • Only 10 reached secondary school.
  • Currently, 99 of learners complete compulsory
    schooling

29
National Achievement Levels (SC 2005-2007)
30
National Achievement Levels (NSC 2008-2010)
31
5.3 National Achievement levels (2005-2010)
32
(No Transcript)
33
COMPARISON MATHEMATICS MATHEMATICAL LITERACY
34
COMPARISON MATHEMATICS PHYSICAL SCIENCE
35
6. Evaluations of the NSC
  • Internationally it has been shown that it takes
    up to five years before a new qualification
    settles and therefore any review and subsequent
    policy change, must be done based on data
    accumulated over this period.
  • Therefore, any evaluations at this stage are
    preliminary and must be viewed in the light of
    possible teething problems.
  • Some claims have already been made about the
    validity of the NSC and HESA is experimenting
    with the setting of a National Benchmarking Test
    (NBT)

36
6. Evaluations of the NSC
  • In a recent study undertaken by Wits University,
    there is a strong indication that the NSC
    examination results are a fair predictor of the
    likelihood of success of students in their first
    year of study (Prof Yunus Ballim, DVC, Wits).
  • This is in contrast to the Higher Education South
    Africa-initiated National Benchmark Test (NBT)
    results, which did not clearly emerge as a better
    or significantly different predictor of
    performance.
  • Indeed, in many courses, the NBT results emerged
    as a poorer predictor of performance than the
    corresponding NSC results. Based on this early
    analysis, Wits is not yet convinced that the NBT
    assists in improving admission decisions and the
    University has chosen not to use the NBT as a
    requirement for all admissions to the University
    in 2011.

37
6. Evaluation of the NSC
  • The Wits study also indicates that, in comparison
    with students who wrote the old matriculation
    examinations, the NSC students arrive at
    university with different sets of competencies
    and ability.
  • NSC students appear to be performing similarly
    to previous cohorts in courses that are reading
    intensive or where group work and project-based
    learning are important components of the course.
  • On the other hand, the NSC students who entered
    university in 2008 appear to have struggled in
    the mathematics and science courses.

38
6. Evaluation of the NSC
  • Johann Engelbrecht, Ansie Harding Patrick Phiri
    (2010) of the University of Pretoria, evaluated
    the performance of the 2009-intake of students at
    university with respect to general performance,
    general attributes, mathematical attributes and
    content related attributes.
  • It appears that these students are better
    prepared with respect to personal attributes such
    as confidence.
  • However, in many instances they are weaker than
    their predecessors with respect to mathematical
    and content related attributes.
  • Yet, there are positive indications that these
    students adapt and improve over a semester.

39
6. Evaluation of the NSC
Nel and Kistner (2009), in their research
established that grade inflation occurred in the
learners from the 2008 cohort, in the lower
performance group. This implies that the
performance of learners in the higher levels were
found to be in keeping with their performance at
higher education. The IEB benchmarked the NSC
with UK NARIC. Their findings included the
following (a) Features of the NSC indicate a
qualification with an underlying level that is
both robust and fit for the purposes of examining
senior secondary school levels (b) The NSC at
the Grade 12 level is broadly comparable to the
GCE AS-level. (c) The Advanced Programme in
Mathematics is more reflective of the GCE A
Level.
40
6. Evaluation of the NSC
  • There are variations in the level and content
    from one subject to another.
  • Specific improvements is needed to ensure a more
    satisfactory crossover content between Grade R to
    9, and Grade 10.
  • Need for a benchmark at the Grade 10 level.
  • Need for an up-skilling of current teachers

41
Conclusion
  • CAPS is being implemented in foundation phase in
    2012 and in Grade 10. CAPS will be progressively
    phased in over the next three years. 2014 will
    see the first cohort of learners that have gone
    through CAPS.
  • The CAPS will
  • Streamline the curriculum content and scope.
  • Specific on assessment requirements.
  • Reduce the workload of teachers.
  • Address the cross-over content gap between GET
    and FET.
  • Increasing the compulsory content requirements
    for Mathematics
  • HESA to review the list of designated subjects.

42
Conclusion
The DBE will continue to support and monitor the
implementation of the NSC. The DBE supports
policy discourses of this nature that will
enhance the implementation of the NSC. The DBE
encourages the ongoing research and evaluation
on the NSC. The outcome of the international
benchmarking will be incorporated into the NSC
examinations on a phased in basis. DBE has
commenced with an engagement with HESA on the
NBT.
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