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WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NSC RESULTS? SETTING AND MAINTAINING STANDARDS in the NSC Portfolio Committee APRIL 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NSC RESULTS? SETTING AND MAINTAINING STANDARDS in the NSC Portfolio Committee APRIL 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NSC RESULTS? SETTING AND MAINTAINING STANDARDS in the NSC Portfolio Committee APRIL 2012

2 Regulatory Framework Quality Assurance of Assessment NQF Act Section 27 (h) The QC must develop and implement policy and criteria for assessment for the qualifications on its sub-framework. From Quality Assurance to Standard Setting

3 Umalusi Model for Setting Standards for Qualifications on the Sub-framework Qualifications and Curriculum – Intended Curriculum Evaluation and Accreditation – Enacted Curriculum Quality Assurance of Assessment – Assessed Curriculum

4 Purpose of the National Senior Certificate Relatively new qualification Inherited qualification Purpose of the NSC  HE vs. School Leaving  HE vs. Employment Single qualification to accommodate all candidates vs. previous HG / SG option The underlying philosophy of the NCS had been designed to ensure that most people achieve the minimum requirement for a pass

5 Standards for the National Senior Certificate Standards captured in National Curriculum Statements and Subject Assessment Guidelines (National Policy Documents) HE participants in development of NCS Umalusi responsibility to ensure that NCS and SAG standards are maintained

6 Quality of the NSC questioned….. 1. More learners passing – at lower levels 2. Pass mark of 30 % and 40% 3. Qualifying candidates not displaying requisite knowledge and skills 4. Maths and Lang competencies continue to be weak 5. Standardisation process questioned 6. National Benchmark Tests

7 Immediate critical issues….. 1. (perceived ) Gap between School and HE and everything in between 2. Standards of Assessment

8 Issue of University readiness as old as education itself NSC – minimum requirements (revision?) University and faculty admission requirements Bridging Programmes “Blame Game” – a vicious cycle Higher Education

9 The number of candidates passing The quality of the results The standardisation of the exam The predictive quality of the exam for performance at HE level Some points of comparison

10 Pass Mark 1. 30% and 40 % not invention of the NSC 2. SC – converted passes HG to SG; SG to LG 3. SC - exemption determined by attaining aggregate score 4. NSC – 3 x 40% and 3x 30% (40% in HL) Higher certificate – NSC + 30% (LOLT) Diploma – NSC + 30%(LOLT) + 4 (40% and above) Degree - NSC + 30%(LOLT) + 4 (50% and above from designated list)

11 Massification is a natural outcome of an education system that is non-racist, non-sexist and democratic It is clear that there has been a steady increase over the last decade in the number of learners who enrolled for and wrote the SC and then NSC – notable exception 2010 and 2011 The number of candidates passing

12 SC / NSC examination results, all schools, Year No. of Candidates Passes NumberChange in number (%) NumberChange in passes (%) Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009 The number of candidates passing : Trends in SC / NSC enrolment and passes

13 Year No. of Candidates Passes Number Wrote Change in number (%) NumberChange in passes (%) * * Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009

14 Concerns about quality has become a thorny issue and the subject of much debate albeit uninformed at most times. SA public uses the matric results as the main indicators of quality of the education system and so there is an understandable concern about what these results of a relatively new qualification is saying about the current state of education It is important however that we interrogate some of our assumptions that inform our beliefs about standards and quality The quality of the results

15 The assumption is that “more means less” or “more means worse” The assumption that a higher pass rate is as a result of:  Lowering standards  Upward adjustment of marks Assumptions that affect our perceptions

16 Another assumption is that the NCS is of a lower standard than the previous curriculum. Research completed by Umalusi into the standard of the NCS curriculum confirms that in most cases the NCS presents a greater cognitive challenge The NCS also represents modern, updated and more demanding versions of previous subjects Umalusi’s comparative research: NSC with SC (NATED 550)

17 Understanding the NSC 2008 Maintaining Standards, 2009 – 6 gateway subjects comparing the intended and examined curricula for the SC and the NSC 2009 Maintaining Standards, 2010 – Accounting, Business Studies, Economics and History Evaluating the South African NSC i.r.o selected international qualifications: a self-referencing exercise to determine the standing of the NSC, research jointly undertaken by Umalusi and Higher Education South Africa

18 Another assumption is that the NCS is of a lower standard than the previous curriculum. Research completed by Umalusi into the standard of the NCS curriculum confirms that in most cases the NCS presents a greater cognitive challenge The NCS also represents modern, updated and more demanding versions of previous subjects Umalusi’s research on comparisons with other qualifications

19 National Senior Certificate (NSC), Department of (Basic) Education (South Africa)/Umalusi International Baccalaureate Diploma, Standard Level and higher Level, International Baccalaureate Organization International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), A Levels, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC), Department of Education (Namibia)

20 Findings NSC curriculum fits comparably within the range of selected curricula Content and level most similar to the IB SL and CIE AS Level Increasing depth and level of difficulty NSCInternational Baccalaureate Cambridge International Examinations Namibia IB Mathematical Studies SL IGCSENamibian OL NSCIB SLAS LevelNamibian HL IB HLA Level

21 Minimum Pass Mark QUALIFICATIONASSESSMENT RATING SCALE MINIMUM PASS NSC1-72 (30%) 3 (40%) in HL IB DIPLOMA1-74 IGSCEA-EC* (*grade boundaries not fixed) A / AS LevelA-ED* NSSC OL NSSC HL A-G 1-4 C* 3*

22 Another assumption is that we now use vastly different methods of standardising the results Responsibility for matriculation results has changed hands:  JMB (1918 to 1992)  SAFCERT (1992 – 2001)  Umalusi (2002 – to date) The one constant has been the standardisation process used for the examinations. This is crucial to:  Obtain equivalence of the standard of the qualification across years, subjects  Deliver a relatively constant product to the HE sector and to the workplace Trust in the statutory institutions established with particular mandates. Trust and credibility: The standardisation of the exam

23 Senior Certificate examination results, all schools, Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009 SC / NSC examination results

24 SC/NSC examination results, all schools, YearNo. of Candidates PassesUniversity Exemption NumberRate (%)NumberRate (%) Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009 SC / NSC examination results and HE

25 SC/ NSC examination results, all schools, YearNo. of Candidates PassesUniversity Exemption NumberRate (%)NumberRate (%) Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009 SC/ NSC examination results and HE

26 Senior Certificate examination results, all schools, Sources: DoE, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2007, 2008, 2009 Senior Certificate examination results

27 Thank You


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