In this research report, Gabrielle Wills and Jess Qvist collate existing and new evidence on grade repetition and school dropout in South Africa before, during and two years after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this Covid-Generation working paper, Bianca Böhmer and Gabrielle Wills contribute new evidence on pandemic effects on reading scores and inequalities in reading in South Africa through an in-depth analysis of data from the 2016 and 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) – a Grade 4 reading comprehension assessment.
This report leverages data mainly derived from the South African School Administration Management System (SA-SAMS), including a unique longitudinal version of the Data Driven Districts (DDD) data for three provinces as well as the Learner Unit Record Information Tracking System (Lurits) data and National Senior Certificate (matric) examination data to analyse the dynamics of the South African education system in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides a detailed analysis of learner flows, assessment strategies, and teacher dynamics, offering valuable insights for policymakers and educational stakeholders and illustrating how such data can be used in education policy and planning.
As part of the Covid-Generation project, Gabrielle Wills examines early grade repetition patterns in South Africa and the effects of early grade repetition on the development of foundational reading skills.
RESEP held its 7th annual conference on Quantitative Education Research (QER) from 5-6 September 2023 at STIAS, Stellenbosch University.
Measuring learning outcomes (what learners know and can do) has been a contested terrain for many education systems and researchers, despite universal acknowledgement that assessment plays an important role in curriculum implementation (UNESCO 2013; Darling-Hammond & Wentworth 2010; Department of Education [DoE] 1995). Venkat and Sapire (this volume) refer to the ‘essential circuits’ of education and the
link between the curriculum, teaching practice, and assessment. Our focus is strictly on the Foundation Phase (FP), and where we refer to a specific subject, mathematics is our first concern. This chapter, therefore, only makes passing reference to the major external assessment, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) or matric examination.
In this note by Ursula Hoadley, she tracks curriculum and assessment policy changes over three years (2020 to 2023) in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures. Some changes were made to the national CAPS curriculum documents in the form of trimming content (2020), identifying ‘fundamental’ knowledge (2020), and reviewing subject content (2022).
COVID-19 caused disruptions to schooling on an unprecedented scale. Emerging evidence indicate sthat these disruptions impacted schooling in South Africa in many ways, from shortened curricula to significant learning losses occurring over the two years of the pandemic (Hoadley, 2020; Ardington,
Wills and Kotze, 2021; Van der Berg et al., 2022). This report constitutes the first attempt at investigating how these outcomes affected broader system performance in terms of key outcomes such as learner flows through the system, matric results, and performance in school-based assessments (SBAs). The report also sheds light on some important other education issues.