Ramaphosa demands competency tests for teachers

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. (Oupa Nkosi, MG)

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. (Oupa Nkosi, MG)

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa believes that competency tests should be reinstated for teachers, the City Press reported.

According to the report on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said that teaching would only improve if teachers were benchmarked through the controversial assessments.

"Everybody else should be benchmarking themselves – benchmarking themselves against those who are better.

"And the only way you can do so is to submit yourself to an evaluation process, an assessment process with a view of improving yourself," he was quoted as saying.

In August, the basic education department delayed finalising a policy that would see all matric exam markers go through competency tests after the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) called the tests humiliating and would not result in pupils getting better grades. But Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told Parliament last week that if no agreement was reached with the union, she would use her discretion to make a decision that was in the best interests of the learners.

Poor training
Ramaphosa said that teachers were badly trained due to the legacy of apartheid.

"Quite often we blame teachers but it is actually not their fault that their competency in teaching is as bad as it is.

" ... These teachers have always been in the pipeline and the pipeline was poisoned by the apartheid system," he said.

According to the report, Sadtu secretary Mugwena Maluleke said that a broader assessment was needed to address problems in the education system.

He argued that teachers often taught subjects for which they were not trained, and so they might not perform well in competency tests.

"A skills audit will look at what skills are available, where and how can they be used effectively. This will identify weaknesses, which could be strengthened." – Sapa



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