Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Blog Views

From 1000 to 12021 in three years!

Thank you to all those who have been visiting this blog over the last three years.  I hope you've found it useful and informative.  With the reshuffling of Circuits on the cards at present, with promised implementation come January 2016 - this blog will most probably also have to undergo some changes.

Any input and suggestions are welcome.
Have a great end of 2015 and best of wishes for 2016 and future years!

SGB-member Forum Meeting

Dear Principal,

Following on from the discussions had at our School Stakeholder event in September, NELI would like to invite your school's SGB to the first SGB-Member Forum meeting. Many members are eager to meet again and maintain some momentum for this network.

Date: Saturday 14th November
Time: 09h00 to 11h00
Venue: Grade 6 Classroom, Zonnebloem Boys Primary School, Cambridge Rd, Zonnebloem

We hope this meeting will provide a platform for our local schools to share success and challenges as well as find opportunities to collaborate and support each other.

Please RSVP by Thursday 12th November to

We look forward to seeing you then.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Thumbs Up to Gumtree!

Finding a qualified teacher used to be a huge problem, however after using Gumtree recently we managed to find more than a dozen suitably qualified teachers looking for jobs.  In fact after three days we got more than twenty applications. I would therefore strongly recommend that principals use Gumtree for finding suitable candidates for whatever post they might need to fill. Especially if it has to be filled within a few days!

Below is a picture of the add we recently posted via Gumtree.  Please don't apply - it's been filled already!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Teacher needed at Walmer Estate Primary School in Cape Town

Intermediate Phase (Grade 4) Teacher needed at Walmer Estate Primary School in Cape Town.  The teacher must be fluent in English and Afrikaans. Please mention teaching experience - especially in the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 - 6).  Teacher will start immediately (i.e. on or before 12 October 2015).  Please email CV and copies of your ID and highest qualification to .  Use Grade 4 Teacher Application as your Subject.  This will be a WCED paid contract position.  The post is for the last term, i. e. period 12 Oct – 9 Dec 2015.  It may be extended into 2016.  

Thursday, 1 October 2015

School Administrative Assistants' Training

Dear Colleagues, a pleasant good morning to you. In our engagements with yourselves and the SIPs, we have identified the need for training and personal development  sessions  for the administrative assistants, which, amongst others, encompass the following:
·         Maximising the roles and responsibilities of the administrative assistants
·         Personal development for our admin staff
·         Cross-functional collaboration and partnership
·         Tying learning to tangible outcomes
·         Converting social content into meaningful engagement
As such we have commenced in our endeavour to afford the administrative assistants the opportunities to become value adding and value creating members of the value chain attached to the schools by arranging the below-mentioned training session:
DATE                     :               Thursday 15 October 2015
CIRCUITS             :               2; 5 and 6
VENUE                  :               Vanguard Primary School
TIME                      :               08h30 – 15h30
ATTENDEES         :               School Administrative Assistants
ATTENDANCE    :               Not Mandatory, but attending the full training session is MANDATORY

REGISTRATION  :              Please email/ fax  attendee names (2 maximum) to our Magda Botha on/before Thursday 1 October 2015.  This is urgent for catering and logistical arrangements.
·         Personal Development
·         Living a life of significance
·         Defining moment
·         Connecting with your dreams
·         Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)
·         Personal Financial Awareness
·         Managing your stress
Thanking you in anticipation
Kind Regards.
M. Junaid Daries
Tel: 021 514 6707

Monday, 14 September 2015

DA questions decision to postpone ANA tests

2015-09-13 18:47
Annette Lovemore
Annette Lovemore
Johannesburg - The opposition Democratic Alliance has questioned the decision to postpone the writing of the annual national assessments [ANA] tests at government schools.
"Who is currently in charge of our country’s education system?" said DA MP Annette Lovemore in a statement.
In a last-minute move, the Department of Basic of Education (DBE) on Friday announced that the 2015 ANAs,which test numeracy and literacy, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday and be written by 8.6 million pupils, has been postponed until February next year.  The decision came after the department engaged with unions, including the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu), who had spoken out against the assessments.
"It is completely unacceptable that Sadtu is allowed to get away with compromising the education of our children and therefore their future opportunities for a better life," said Lovemore, labelling the education department's move to postpone the tests as having "caved" to the unions.
"The importance of the ANAs must be recognised. Our education system is mired in crisis, with only half of our children able to read properly by the end of Grade 3, and only 3% of our children being appropriately numerate by the end of Grade 9.
"It is essential that we test literacy and numeracy every single year and that interventions are aggressively implemented, informed by the results of the tests."
Earlier this week, DBE national spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the postponement was "in the best interest of schooling stability and will also assist in improving the quality and the thrust of the national assessment programme."

Why ANAs were shelved

Comment on this story
IOL exams INDEPENDENT MEDIA The annual national assessments (ANAs), which assess the literacy and numeracy levels of pupils from grades 1 to 6 and in Grade 9, were due to start on Tuesday but have been postponed till February. File picture: Timothy Bernard
Johannesburg - The education of more than 8 million children has been thrown into disarray after the Department of Basic Education bowed to pressure from teacher unions and postponed the Annual National Assessments (ANAs).
The postponement seemed cast in stone as early as Tuesday when the South African Teachers Union (Sadtu), which is the majority union, threatened to boycott the tests. It called on its members to refuse to administer and mark the assessments.
Two other teacher unions – the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) and the South African Teachers Union – also demanded that the assessments be done in three-year cycles in order to create time for remedial action.
The tests, which assess the literacy and numeracy levels of pupils from grades 1 to 6 and in Grade 9, were due to start on Tuesday but have been postponed till February.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga made the decision in spite of her concerted efforts last week to rescue the tests when she held meetings with the unions.
A statement signed by the leadership of the three unions said it had been a joint decision to postpone the tests.
The unions said a three-year cycle for the ANAs would create time for remedial action.
The tussle between Motshekga and the unions has raised the alarm on the government’s ability to enforce policy and on questions about the power that unions affiliated to the ANC-led tripartite alliance hold, according to education researchers and political analysts.
Following the announcement of the postponement on Friday, the department has admitted that it would have to go back to the drawing board to consider alternative means to improve pupils’ literary and numeracy competency.
It said the postponement was in the best interest of schooling stability and would assist in improving the quality and thrust of the national assessment programme.
A task team comprising teacher unions and department officials has since been established to address the unions’ grievances and assist the department to remodel the assessments.
As the department mulls over the problem, the unions are also celebrating the fall of the “Gazette regime”, which refers to what they argued was the department’s tendency to publicly issue policy in Government Gazettes and through circulars without consulting them.
The unions also got the department to commit to improving its relationship with them, and channel more resources into teacher development. They said Basic Education Director-General Matanzima Mweli had committed to urgently addressing matters affecting the working conditions of teachers.
Explaining its call for a boycott, Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke and deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi accused the department of waging a “well-orchestrated low-level war” against unions and of continuously failing to improve teachers’ working conditions.
At an education research conference at Stellenbosch University last month, Motshekga pledged that more guidance would be provided to schools on how to use the assessments to improve classroom practice, and she acknowledged that her department needed to work on refining the tests.
Education researchers have frequently pointed to the flaws in the assessments. The chief arguments were that the results weren’t comparable over years, and that schools had taken to cheating.
Naptosa president Basil Manuel said schools and education districts often felt so pressured to perform in the assessments that they neglected the curriculum.
“Teachers would prepare pupils for what is to come in the diagnostic tests, which is not supposed to happen,” Manuel said.
The Star

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sadtu to boycott ANAs

Sadtu to boycott ANAs

Comment on this story
Copy of Copy of St sec ANA INDEPENDENT MEDIA The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has resolved to instruct its 250 000 teacher members to boycott invigilating the ANAs until the department of basic education stops imposing policies that compromise& labour peace . Photo: Timothy Bernard
Pretoria - With just over a week before the start of the annual national assessments (ANAs), the biggest teacher union in the country has announced they are boycotting the tests.
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has resolved to instruct its 250 000 teacher members to boycott invigilating the ANAs until the department of basic education stops imposing policies that “compromise… labour peace”.
Sadtu decided to issue this order at its national executive committee meeting last week.
The ANAs, which are a diagnostic tool to assess literacy and numeracy, are expected to be written between September 15 and 18. About 8.6 million pupils in grades 1 to 9 will write the tests.
The tests were first introduced in 2010. Last year’s ANAs indicated only 3 percent of Grade 9 pupils were numerate at a grade-appropriate level.
The target is 60 percent. The average score for the Grade 9 maths assessment was 10.8 percent.
The union claims the department had failed to consult with them on the ANAs.
“However, it has been reduced to an onslaught on teachers, with no intention to improve the system by ensuring fit for purpose intervention in the form of ongoing professional development for all in the system that was supposed to be part of the diagnosis,” the union spokeswoman Nomusa Cembi said in a statement.
She said the move to boycott the assessments was in defiance of the Department of Basic Education.
She said the department had “committed publicly to consult with unions on the principal standards (and) regulations” but this didn’t happen.
Instead, she said, it had embarked on “a gazette-driven tangent” (matter) which is meant to sideline the unions on issues affecting conditions of employment.
Despite the boycott, departmental spokeswoman Troy Martens said plans were on track for the exams to continue smoothly.
“We have requested a meeting with the union next week to hear what their problems are. But according to us, the exams are going ahead as planned,” she said.
The South African Teachers’ Union (SAOU) chief executive Chris Klopper said they had also asked the department for an urgent meeting over the issue.
“The SAOU has always maintained the ANA, in its current form, does not achieve what the Department of Basic Education says it does,” he said.
“More specifically, it is neither diagnostic nor formative and contributes little, if anything, to an accurate assessment of either the curriculum or the learner’s achievement.
“By extension, therefore, it is also of limited value when assessing classroom practice,” Klopper added.
Meanwhile, the DA has reacted with outrage to Sadtu’s threats to boycott the ANAs. The DA spokeswoman on Basic Education, Annette Lovemore, said it would compromise the ability to assess the pupils’ level of literacy and numeracy.
“It is a shameful decision which needs to be reconsidered urgently,” she said, adding she would write to the union and request they retract the planned boycott.
Pretoria News
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NAPTOSA Position on the 2015 Annual National Assessments (ANA)

The ANA was conceptualised following poor learner performance in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMMS), as well as the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) studies. NAPTOSA, at the time, embraced the intention of a “home-grown” diagnostic testing system for selected grades. However, the ANA is no longer a diagnostic systemic evaluation tool, but has evolved into a content-based test with results being used to “label and punish” schools and districts in relation to performance. This labelling has changed the way in which schools and teachers perceive the ANA.
 In 2014 we saw schools “teaching to the ANA” to the detriment of the curriculum. Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) instructed that days/weeks be dedicated to the preparation for the ANA, as well as schools having “pre- ANA tests” in some provinces. This abhorrent practice continues as a result of the pressure to perform at any cost. NAPTOSA denounces such practices and also rejects the proliferation and extension of the ANA to all grades as opposed to the initial focus grades, namely, grades 3, 6 and 9.
NAPTOSA is concerned that sufficient time is not allocated for schools to consolidate and implement the learning needs as identified.
NAPTOSA has consistently drawn its concerns about the ANA to the attention of both the Minister and the Department of Basic Education, but to no avail. These concerns include issues of changed focus from diagnostic to summative evaluation; lack of consolidation; the undesirability of a high stakes testing regime; and the absence of meaningful engagement. Other pertinent issues taken up with the Minister include the disruption of the academic year, additional educator workload, unfair demands on special schools, and change in focus and purpose. The timing of the ANA is also cause for concern.
NAPTOSA regrets the fact that all our proposals regarding the above have, to date, been ignored.
Accordingly, NAPTOSA sees no purpose in the ANA as it is currently implemented and strongly believes that there is a need for it to be overhauled rather than continuing blindly with a flawed policy that costs millions annually and amounts to nought.
Consequently, NAPTOSA is of the firm opinion that the values and purpose of the ANA have been compromised. NAPTOSA is engaging in consultations with other educator unions, as well as the Minister and the Director General of the Department of Basic Education. Once these have been concluded, NAPTOSA will evaluate its continued participation in the ANAs.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Secretary Position at WEPS from September 2015

Secretary Position at WEPS:
Prospective applicants who would like to apply for the position of secretary and bursar at Walmer Estate Primary School may still apply ASAP.  All applications will be finalized this Friday 21-08-2015.

This WCED contract post will be available from 1 September to 31 December 2015.  The post should by then be advertised via WCED bulletin.  The contract position might be extended until March 2016 or later, depending on when WCED decides to fill the post.  This post will then become permanent.

Interested parties must have a matric certificate and be fluent in English and Afrikaans.  Knowledge of isiXhosa will also be considered.  The candidate must have experience in secretarial duties, such as filing and organizing documents.  Computer skills are essential.  The applicant must also have good communication skills and know how to handle finance programmes.

Please forward your updated CV (with references to us at ASAP.    Interviews will be conducted during next week on 25 August 2015.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Qualified Teacher Needed at WEPS in Cape Town

We currently need a qualified educator to start immediately at our school (Walmer Estate Primary in Zonnebloem, Cape Town).  This will be a WCED paid position.  The post is for a Grade 6/ 7 educator who can teach Mathematics, Science and Technology.  The educator must be fluent in both English and Afrikaans.  The teacher must have experience teaching CAPS and be registered with SACE.  The teacher must be able to cope with all administrative duties and control the class.

The post will initially be on contract for 3 - 6 months.  then it will be formally advertised via the WCED bulletin.

Those interested and available to start beginning of August 2015 can call our office at 021 447 6760.  Or email us at  Please send your updated CV (with references).

Please share this information in the interest of education.

Thank you
Idrees Kamish

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sound Performance Management

The following excerpt is from the Strategic People Management Minute 0002/2015

Subject: Importance of sound performance management 

1. Following Strategic People Management Minute 0001/2014 of 18 February 2014 in respect of the three performance management systems relating to educators and public service staff, we attach the annual calendars for the SPMDS, PMDS and IQMS processes for 2015.
2. These calendars provide a guide to the required procedures and the relevant due dates.
3. Performance management is a system which links organizational strategies and goals to sub-unit goals and then to individual posts, and is aimed at giving direction to and enhancing individual performance, thereby increasing organization and institution effectiveness.
4. Continual performance management assists in:  establishing a culture of performance excellence;  improving awareness and understanding of expectations;  improving communication;  encouraging fair and objective assessment;  providing opportunities for development needs;  proactively managing unsatisfactory performance;  guiding and supporting employees; and  providing a basis for future decisions.

Here are the relevant circulars:

1. Minute 0002/2015;
2.  See below: