Is Basic Education terminology on the National Senior Certificate confusing?


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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Maxine Peters 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #64612

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Following the release of the National Senior Certificate results by the Department of Basic Education, SAQA CEO Joe Samuels issued a media release – copied below – and followed up with a LinkedIn posting, which explains in a graphic form how the terminology being used is confusing to parents, students, and employers.

    I must add that I personally fully support Joe Samuels in these comments.
    We know that for historic reasons, many students are achieving education levels higher than their parents and other adults in their families. It is absolutely essential that each level is clearly designated (as in the NQF) in simple language, able to be widely and generally understood.

    It would be beneficial if the Basic Education department clarified clearly in advance a less confusing terminology to be used for the 2018 cohort.

    Please see the media release copied below and also the attached graphic:

    “SAQA welcomes the 2017 National Senior Certificate results but cautions against the use of confusing terminology – 5 January 2018

    The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) welcomes the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results of the public schooling system that were announced yesterday by the Honourable Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga. As the Minister pointed out, these results point to a “system on the rise” with an overall achievement rate of 75.1%, which is an increase of 2.6% from the 72.5% recorded in 2016. Although there is an improvement the Minister also pointed out that much still needs to be done to further improve the quality and efficiency of the basic education system.

    SAQA congratulates the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for its role in the administration of the 2017 NSC examinations. SAQA also congratulates Umalusi, the Council of Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, for upholding the integrity of the NSC examination through its quality assurance of the management and administration of the 3 exit point examinations, which lead to a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 qualification, namely the NSC.

    It should be noted that Umalusi’s rigorous quality assurance processes go beyond the DBE examinations to that of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI), all of which lead to the NSC at NQF Level 4. Whether acquired through the DBE, IEB or SACAI examinations, the NSC is the gateway to different opportunities for learners.

    “While the 2017 public school NSC results add to a sustained pass rate which has consistently remained above 70% over the last seven years, terminology used particularly around the level of achievement should not be confusing for the education system as well as the public” said the SAQA CEO, Mr Joe Samuels.
    “To say that learners achieved four different qualification types, namely, Bachelor, Diploma, Higher Certificate and NSC is very confusing because all learners who pass receive one qualification type, which in this case is the NSC at NQF Level 4,” he added. ”There are different qualification types including a PhD, Masters, Honours, Bachelor’s, Higher Certificate and Certificate,” he further added. “In this instance, the NSC is a Certificate hence the categories of passes should rather be referred to as levels of achievement to avoid the confusion it creates among the sector and the public,” he explained. SAQA hopes that this matter will be tackled and sorted by the DBE in time for the class of 2018.

    That said, SAQA congratulates all the learners who were successful to acquire their NSC. These learners will make a good contribution to South Africa as they enter universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), learnership programmes with Sector Education and Training Authorities, the labour market and/or create other opportunities, etc.

    For those who were unsuccessful, it is not the end of the road as they can consider rewriting or writing supplementary examinations should they qualify to do so. The DBE also has a good second chance programme in place. Education is not an individual effort, hence all stakeholders including parents, guardians, educators, unions, private and public officials’ contribution to the 2017 NSC results is also recognised and appreciated.

    Issued by: SAQA
    Enquiries: Joe Samuels, SAQA CEO
    Contact details: 012 431 5001 or 082 833 1271 or jsamuels@saqa.co.za

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  • #64616

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I am so glad to se Joe Samuels has taken the initiative. Terminology used is very misleading and can cause all sort or problems for the learners. At the very least it will create a false expectation – and lead to a feeling of entitlement. Well done Mr Samuels.

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  • #64644

    Maxine Peters
    Participant

    Thank you Mr Samuels! Appreciate this will be displayed. Des said it all.

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