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). The focus was on retaining the curriculum whilst allowing for flexibility in coverage through weakened controls over moderation, assessment, and promotion requirements, ceding most curriculum and assessment decisions to the school and classroom levels. Given a very unequal system, this meant that curriculum coverage and learning losses mapped onto and deepened pre-COVID-19 patterns of educational disadvantage. During the pandemic, the Department of Basic Education claimed remote solutions as a key mechanism for addressing curriculum coverage, despite very few learners having access to these. Post-COVID, a similar approach of devolution of curriculum decision-making to school and teacher level has been taken. There has been no attempt to recoup time in order to remediate learning losses, apart from very recent attempts in one province. The insistence on a largely business-as-usual approach to curriculum implementation fails to recognise and address the severe educational impact of the pandemic, especially on learners in the poorest communities.
2023AuthorsConferences and WorkshopsDebra ShepherdEducation 2023Gabrielle WillsMartin GustafssonNews and OpinionNic SpaullNompumelelo MohohlwaneNwabisa MakaluzaPresentationsRebecca SelkirkServaas van der BergUncategorized
Conference on Quantitative Education Research (QER) 2023
Ryno PageSeptember 24, 2023