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Chapter 3

ASSESSMENT/EXAMINATIONS AND MODERATION

3.2 EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT AND MODERATION

3.2.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • National Education Policy Act (Section 3(4)(l)) [NEPA]
  • South African Schools Act (Section 6A) [SASA]
  • General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act 58 of 2001 (as amended by three amendment acts until 2008)(Section 1, 17A and 26) [QA]
  • Education White Paper 6 Special Needs Education: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (2001) Proclaimed as National Policy in 2001 (Government Gazette No. 22524, 27 July 2001) [WP6]

 

REGULATIONS

  • Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate Examination (Aug 2008) (Government Gazette No. 31337) and as amended by Regulation Notice No. 371 in Government Gazette No. 37651, dated 16 May 2014 [NR NSC]
  • Regulations Pertaining to the National Curriculum Statements Gr R-12, published as Government Notice 1114 in Government Gazette No. 36041 of 28 December 2012 and amended as Government Notices 1162 in Government Gazette No. 39435 dated 20 November 2015 [NR CAPS R-12]
  • General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act: Regulations for the Issuing of Certificates by the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Council (Government Gazette No. 25794 of 2 Dec 2003, amended by No. 27249 of 4 Feb 2005 and No. 30425 of 31 Oct 2007) [NR QA]

 

POLICY

  • Policy on the Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support as published in Government Gazette No. 38356 of 19 December 2014 [SIAS]
  • Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for the respective subjects (Government Gazette No. 34600 of 12 September 2011) [CAPS]
  • National Policy pertaining to the Programme and Promotion Requirements of the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 (Government Gazette No. 34600 of 12 September 2011 as amended by Government Notices No.1496 and 1497 in Government Gazette, No. 40472 dated 2 December 2016) [NPPPR]
  • National Protocol for Assessment Grades R-12 (Government Gazette No. 34600 of 12 September 2011) and amended as Government Notice No. 1115 and 1116, Government Gazette No. 36042 of 28 December 2012 [NPA]
  • National Policy pertaining to the conduct, administration and management of the National Senior Certificate examination published as Government Gazette No 30048 of 6 July 2007 and amended as Government Notices 372 and 373 in Government Gazette, Vol. 587, No 37652 dated 16 May 2014 [NSC]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Personnel Administration Measures [PAM]

 

CIRCULAR

  • S13 OF 2015: FET Literature Catalogue [S13/2015]
  • Circular S1 of 2017: Guidelines to strengthen Section four of the curriculum and assessment policy statement, Grades R-11 [S1/2017]
  • Circular S4 of 2017: Erratum to the use of oral marks for both the School-Based Assessment and the Examination for Grades 10-12 [S4/2017]

 

Mpumalanga

POLICY

  • Mpumalanga Department of Education: Examinations Security Policy, 2011 [Reference B6 EXAM SECURITY]

WesternCape

CIRCULARS

  • Circular 0047/2015: Incremental Implementation of Further Education and Training (FET) literature 2016-2 FET [Reference B9 0047/2015]
  • Circular S4 of 2017: Erratum to the use of oral marks for both the School-Based Assessment and the Examination for Grades 10-12 [Reference B9 S4/2017]

KwaZulu-Natal

CIRCULARS

Circular 57 of 2015: Incremental Procurement and Implementation of Grades 10, 11 and 12 Literature: 2016-2018 [Reference B4 57/2015]

Limpopo

COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

  • 1 of 2004: Selection Criteria for the Appointment of ABET examiners [Reference B5 1/2004]
  • 1 of 2005: Selection Criteria for the Appointment of Examiners [Reference B5 1/2005]

3.2.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on External Assessment

    1. Definition of external assessment
      External assessment means any assessment conducted by an assessment body, the outcomes of which count towards the achievement of a qualification registered on the NQF by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
    2. Grades R-9
      • National policy
        Although the Common Tasks for Assessment (CTAs) have been terminated, provinces now set external assessments at Gr 1-6 and 9 levels by means of common tests in various subjects.  Although no national policy framework provides for common assessments, this practice is expected to continue until agreement on a National Assessment Framework to replace the highly contentious Annual National Assessments (ANAs) has been reached.
      • Provincial policy
        Some provinces expect the schools under their jurisdiction to write common provincial tests/examinations. Some provinces make question papers for such common tests/ examinations available but they are compulsory for poorly performing schools only and not for well-functioning schools. A well-functioning school that prefers to write its own papers must then submit proof of its timetable and duly moderated question papers to the district office.
        Although the National Department of Basic Education has set a target in terms of what they regard as under-performing, provinces set their own targets. School principals must ensure that they are informed on the policy of their PED in this regard.
    3. Grades 10-12
      Policy is under revision to provide for national common exams in Grades 10 and 11 in Mathematics and Physical Science. The table below covers all the aspects of external examinations in Grades 10-12 in detail (see National Policy Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate Examination). As all the aspects are equally important, principals must ensure that they and their staff teaching Grades 10-12 are fully informed on the contents of the relevant documents.
Chapter/

Annex

Regulation Topic Sub-Regulations/Details
1
DEFINITIONS,
OBJECTIVES
1 – 2 Definitions and objectives
2
CONDUCT OF INTERNAL
ASSESSMENT
3 – 5 Requirements concerning internal assessment relating to the Gr 12 final exams (NSC exams)
  • An internal assessment mark is a compulsory 25% component of the Gr 12 promotion mark in the case of all subjects.
  • The composition of the internal assessment programme and mark is specified in the respective Subject documents.
  • Evidence of a learner’s performance must comprise the prescri­bed assessment tasks, the marks obtained in each case and valid reasons for not having complied with certain requirements. Valid reasons include illness, humanitarian reasons, court hear­ings and other reasons accepted by the Head of the assessment body (department) or his representative (with appropriate written confirmation in each case). Annexure A as summarised below, explains what needs to be done in the case of incomplete sets of evidence.
  • The teacher file must contain a complete record of assessment (tasks, marking instrument and marks).National policy
    Policy is under revision to provide for national common exams in Grades 10 and 11 in Mathematics and Physical Science. The table below covers all the aspects of external examinations in Grades 10-12 in detail (see National Policy Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate Examination). As all the aspects are equally important, principals must ensure that they and their staff teaching Grades 10-12 are fully informed on the contents of the relevant documents.
  • Failure by a teacher to maintain a teacher file constitutes an act of misconduct to be dealt with in terms of the Employment of Educators’ Act 76 of 1998.
3
CANDIDATES
TO BE ASSESSED
6 Admission to NSC examination in general
  • All candidates in public and independent schools must have complied with internal assessment requirements as in the CAPS subject documents.
  • All learners in public schools must write the NSC examination of the Department, except for subjects that are examined by other assessment bodies.
7 Admission of individual candidates
  • Minimum requirements for all candidates
    • Must be registered for tuition in the minimum required number of subjects (7) at a school
    • Must comply with all school based assessment (SBA) requirements
    • Must have complied with Gr 10 and 11 promotion requirements
  • Candidates wanting to offer additional subjects, may do so subject to the following:
    • Written permission from the Head of the provincial department or his/her representative
    • Offered and passed the subject in Gr 10 and 11
    • Satisfied all internal assessment requirements
    • If the subject is not offered at the school at which the candidate is registered, the candidate can register for that subject at a school where it is offered, with the permission of both principals. The school offering the subject must forward all assessment marks to the school where the candidate is registered and is to write the exams, prior to commencement of the exam.
  • Repeat candidates are candidates who failed the NSC exams and want to satisfy outstanding requirements. They are allowed to meet the requirements within 3 years from date of first NSC exam. They need not receive full-time tuition at a school. The SBA mark prepared for the first exam is valid for three years.
Annexure A to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC Administrative issues relating to school based assessment marks
  • All learners must have an SBA mark for each subject
  • If a learner has a valid reason not to submit one or more task and cannot do it if given a second opportunity, the SBA must be cal­cu­lated by using the marks for the tasks he has done. If he has no valid reason, the SBA must also be calculated using the marks for the tasks done, but out of the total possible marks had all the tasks been done.
  • If a learner has not submitted any tasks and has no valid reason, his results are incomplete, indicated as 444 on the mark sheet. If the candidate cannot submit some of the tasks within three months from publication of the results, he/she will not be issued the National Senior Certificate.
  • If the candidate has a valid reason, the code 999 is indicated on the mark sheet.
  • If the reasons for tasks not submitted are not clear when the marks are captured, the marks are regarded as outstanding, indicated by 777 on the mark sheet. If the tasks have not been submitted within the three months allowed, the code changes to 444 if the candidate has given no valid reasons or 999 if the candidate has given valid reasons.
  • All SBA marks are moderated in terms of a norm determined by UMALUSI.
8 Changing of subjects Learners in school who have not written the NSC examinations before: (NPPPR November 2015)

  • Approval for changing a subject in Grade 12 must be obtained from the Head of the assessment body. The following documents are needed:
  • Two in Gr 11, subject to principal’s approval, provided this is done before 31 March. In exceptional cases a learner may change one additional subject in Grade 11, provided this is done before 15 December of the Grade 11-year.
  • Two in Gr 10, subject to principal’s approval, before 30 June of the Grade 10 year.
    • a letter of motivation from the learner’s parent or guardian;
    • a letter from the Principal, either supporting or providing reasons for not supporting the change; and
    • a letter from the subject teacher, outlining the programme to be followed to assist the learner in covering those aspects of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements of the new subject for the previous grades that were not completed.

Repeaters:

  • Candidates who have written the Gr12 final exams but who wish to repeat the whole examination may do so subject to –
    • Documentary evidence that he/she has written the exams, and
    • registration with an accredited assessment body and compliance with all school based assessment (SBA) requirements.
  • Candidates who have written the Gr12 final exams and who wish to write a subject which they did not write the previous time in order to comply with faculty specific requirements may do so subject to –
    • Documentary evidence that he/she has written the exams,
    • a maximum of two subjects be changed
    • Documentary evidence that all SBA requirements have been met,
    • having met all SBA requirements for the subject(s) offered the previous time, and
    • the new subject(s) being completed within two years.
Annexures B and C to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC Subjects of other assessment bodies
  • A candidate may offer one subject of an assessment body other than the Department of Basic Education, approved by the Minister of Basic Education (See NPPPR)
  • Requirements for the offering of Music as a subject of another assessment body (Also see NPPPR)
Annexure C1 to the Policy Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC Endorsed NSC for learners with special education needs

The NSC a learner with special educational needs re when com­plying with the relevant requirements (see Chapter 4.5, par.4.5.2(b))

11 Registration of candidates
  • The deadline is 15 March or 15 days after supplemen­ta­ry exams for those who are unsuccessful
  • Late registrations only with permission of Head of prov education dept or his/her representative
  • Transfer from one province to another must be mutually agreed by the departments involved
12 Deregistration

 The principal may recommend deregistration of a candidate to the Head of the prov dept if the candidate is irregular in attendance or has committed a serious misdemeanour

13 Fees
  • Fees are determined by the Heads of Education Departments’ Committee
  • A candidate who has been exempt from the payment of school fees may be exempted by the Head of the PED
14 Assessment policies and guidelines

These regulations apply to all assessment bodies offering the National Senior Certificate examinations

15 Language in which the question paper is set

Question papers must be set in the language of learning and teaching

16 Concessions for candidates classified as deaf, aphasic, dyslectic or suffering from a mathematical disorder
  • Deaf, aphasic or dyslectic candidates may offer only one official language at First Additional Language Level if another subject from Group B is offered in lieu of the other language. (See NPPPR)
  • Candidates suffering from a mathematical disorder such as dyscalculia, may be exempted from offering Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics, if another subject from Group B is offered in lieu of this subject. (NPPPR)
17 Absentees
  • In the case of illness or other circumstances beyond the candidate’s control, medical certificates or affidavits, counter­signed by the principal must be submitted to the PED
  • Candidates absent from the exam without valid reason, cannot register for the supplementary exams
  • If the candidate is absent for reasons other than illness or injury the principal must submit a written report to the Head of the PED for a decision
18 Supplementary examinations for full-time, repeat and part-time candidates
  • If a candidate has not met the minimum NSC require­ments, he/ she may register for the supplementary exam following on the end exam which he/she wrote for a maximum of two of the subjects written in the exam
  • Part-time candidates can exercise this option only once, namely after the end exam which he/she wanted to complete the course with
  • If one of the subjects is Life Orientation, the internal re-assess­ment must be done within the period of the supplementary exam
  • In the case of death in the immediate family or other spe­­cial reasons for the candidate’s absence in the end exam, the candidate may register for the supplementary
  • In all cases the SBA mark used for the end exam is to be used again
  • Provisional registration is allowed In the case of a delay caused by the investigation of a possible irregularity
19 The NSC examinations beyond the SA borders This concerns the assessment body (PED) only
4
PREPARATIONS FOR THE NSC EXAM
20-26,
Annexures D, E &F to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC
 Management plan, timetables, appointment of examiners and moderators, development and storage of examination papers These regulations apply to the assessment bodies (PEDs)
5
CONDUCTING THE EXAM
27 Establishment and registration of an examination centre This concerns the assessment body (PED) and independent schools only
Annexure G to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC Practical examination in CAT and IT Annexure G explains in detail the way in which computer centres and equipment must be prepared for the examinations, when speed endorsement must be done, what must be done in the case of power failures and computer breakdowns, and procedures to be followed when two sittings take place on the same day, and procedures to be followed after the practical examination session.

It is a concise document which cannot be summarised any further and it should therefore be used as is.

28,
Annexure H to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administra-tion and Management of the NSC
An independent school serving as examination centre Annexure H provides a pro-forma contract for an agreement between the PED and a private school
29 Deregistration of an examination centre This regulation specifies the steps to be taken by a PED in order to deregister a centre
30
Annexures  I & J to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC
Appointment and duties of chief invigila­tors and invigilators Regulation 30 determines that the invigilator must ensure that every candidate produces his/her letter of admission and proof of identity upon admission to the examination room. A candidate who fails to do so, is allowed to sit the examination but present the documentation afterwards failing which must be subjected to the procedures pertaining to irregularities.

Annexure I is extremely important and must be studied carefully by principals of schools that are registered as examination cen­tres.

It determines for instance that the Head of the PED appoints the chief invigilator at a school, who normally is the school principal but not necessarily so. It also determines that the chief invigilator can delegate his/her duties to another person, should he/she be absent, but that such delegation must be done in writing and that the Head of the PED must be informed.

The document explains in detail the procedures to be followed with the appointment of invigilators and the duties of the chief invigilator and invigilators. It specifies for instance the handling of the question papers, the invigilation duties, the packaging of the answer scripts and the handling of the mark sheets.

Annexure J specifies the way in which answer scripts should be returned to the PED. They must either be fetched from the centre by the Department, or delivered to the Department by the chief invigilator or a representative. A register must be kept. Answer scripts are not allowed to be kept overnight at the centre.

31 Information to candidates Candidates must receive general examination instructions in writing and must confirm receipt and acceptance by signing.

The regulation also determines that the candidates must be allowed 10 minutes before the start of each session to read the paper.

32-33 Monitoring by depart­ments and UMALUSI, including visits to the centres by monitoring teams This concerns the assessment body (PED) only
6
RECORDING AND REPORTING
34 Scale of achievement 7-Level scale, see Unit 3.1 Par. 3.1.3(d)(iii)
7
THE MARKING PROCESS
35
Annexure K to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC
Appointment of markers Markers are appointed in terms of the Personnel Administration Measures (PAM), which specify the following criteria for appointment:

  • Recognised 3-year post school qualification, which must include the subject concerned at 2nd or 3rd year level or other appropriate post matric qualifications;
  • Appropriate teaching experience at the appropriate level in the subject concerned;
  • Language competency; and
  • Preference to serving teachers who are currently teaching the subject concerned.
36 Establishment of marking centres This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
 37 Management of marking centres This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
38
Annexure L to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC
Marking procedures This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
8
PROCESSING OF MARKS
 39-42 Processing of marks, standardisation and release of the results This concerns only the assessment body (PED) and UMALUSI
9
RE-MARKING, RE-CHECKING AND VIEWING OF ANSWER SCRIPTS
43-44 Remarking and reviewing of answer scripts
  • A candidate may apply for the re-marking or re-checking or reviewing of his scripts within 21 calendar days from the day of release of the results. This applies to the end of year and the supplementary exam.
  • The fees are refunded if the marks improve.
  • A candidate may apply to view the scripts if he/she is not satisfied with the outcome of the re-checking and re-marking. The application must be made within 7 days of the release of the re-marked results.
  • After the viewing, the candidate can apply for a final re-mark. If still not satisfied, an appeal may be submitted to the MEC.
10
DEALING WITH IRREGULARI­TIES
45-47

Annexure M

Dealing with irregula­rities: Structures to be established, functions of the structures, types of irregularities, procedures and reporting
  • Regulations 45-47 concern only the assessment body (PED).
  • Annexure M specifies what the departments must do (setting up structures etc), but also determines that the principal of every school must establish a School Assessment Irregularities Committee (SAIC) with a composition as follows:
    • The district official serving the school, as chairperson
    • The school principal
    • One person from the school management team (SMT)
    • One person from the teaching staff who is not on the SMT
    • One member of the school governing body (SGB)
    • One district official nominated by the district manager as ex-officio member
    • One representative from each of the teacher unions recognised by the ELRC, as observers
  • The members are appointed by the district manager
  • The functions of the SAIC and an overview of the types of irregularities that might occur, are spelled out in detail by Annexure M.
11
SECURITY AND CONFIDEN­TIALITY
48-49 Security and confidentiality and the use of outside agents This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
12
ACCESS TO
EXA­MINATION AND
CERTIFI­CATION INFO
50-52 This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
13
HISTORICAL RECORDS AND DATA RETENTION
53-54 This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
14
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR AN EXAM COMPUTER SYSTEM
55-56
Annexure N to the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the NSC
This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
15
EXAMINATION BOARDS
57
Annexure O
Establishment and functions of national and provincial examination boards  This concerns only the assessment body (PED)
    1. Provincial policy
      1. Some provinces expect the schools under their jurisdiction to write common provincial tests/examinations in some of the grades from Gr 10-12. In most cases where question papers for such common tests/ examinations are made available by the PED, they are compulsory for poorly performing schools but not for well-functioning schools. A well-functioning school that prefers to write its own papers, must then submit proof of its timetable and duly moderated question papers to the district office.

 

    1. School principals must ensure that they are informed on the policy of their PED in this regard.

3.2.3Guidelines for the Development Of School Policy on External Assessment

School policy on external assessment should specify at least the following:

  1. Grades R – 9
    Common Assessments/Examinations

    • The post on the school’s post establishment where this responsibility is vested.
    • Provisions and procedures concerning the writing of the tests, the marking, capturing and submission of the marks.
    • The way in which the marks are converted into the learners’ final mark.
  2. Provincial policy
    • This depends on the policy of the relevant PED but it must be clear whether the school prefers to write the provincial papers if available or whether it prefers to write its own papers.
  3. Grades 10 – 12
    • National policy (NSC examination end of Gr 12)
      • School policy must be clear on how aspects relating to the regulations and annexures in the National Policy Pertaining to the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate Examination are managed and how the relevant information is communicated to the learners and parents.
    • Provincial policy
      • This depends on the policy of the relevant PED but it must be clear whether the school prefers to write the provincial papers if available or whether it prefers to write its own papers.

See Insight 5 of 2017