Twenty Years Of Democracy In South Africa A Critique Of The Examinations And Assessment Journey

Twenty Years Of Democracy In South Africa A Critique Of The Examinations And Assessment Journey

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Twenty Years Of Democracy In South Africa A Critique Of The Examinations And Assessment Journey

South Africa has made significant strides politically, economically, socially and educationally, since the advent of democracy in 1994. Having rescued the country from an abyss of national disaster, the spirit and iconic role of its first President, the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, continues to prevail over the country and guide developments. From an educational perspective, the amalgamation of the nineteen ex-departments that served the different racial groups, into a single National Department of Education, which administers a single national education system, is one of the greatest accomplishments of the Ministry of Education. However, the establishment of a single national system for education and, more specifically, for examinations and assessment, has not been without its challenges, given the historical, ideological and structural differences that existed between the nineteen previous departments of education. The country has since established a successful National Examination system that administers public exit examinations to almost 900 000 learners on an annual basis and has initiated the development of a large scale National Assessment programme for learners in the General Education and Training Phase. This paper traces the development of examinations over the last twenty years and provides a critical appraisal of the gains and the limitations that are barriers in the field of examinations in South Africa. The paper then proceeds to articulate the examination improvements that are currently underway or that are proposed by the author to address these the limitations identified.Keywords: Public Examinations, Curriculum, Standards, School Based Assessment.

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