Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Far reaching introspection expected at MoESD

After shocking, unsatisfactory and poor Junior Certificate Examinations results, which grabbed a lot of national attention, it is difficult times at the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) as they have many questions to answer and explanations to give as what is coming out of the country’s education.

David Ratsatsi, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, conceded that as the Ministry involved in education, they are taking the issue of JCE results as a high priority. He said the Ministry is to engage with stakeholders, adding that the MoESD will be holding a press conference very soon.

It is still not clear whether the new standard-based procedure for grading, which was used for marking 2012 JC exams, contributed to this poorest of performances this country has ever seen. This new grading system was said to have been done in response to the new curriculum introduced by MoESD in 2010.

Ratsatsi denied that the new grading system is a contributing factor to this year’s poor performance.

“The standard-based procedure has been long piloted from as far back as 2005. It could never be the factor for bad performance. This procedure was done to get away from the Norm referenced procedure which only reflects on performance comparison of candidates, unlike this new procedure which reflects the standard of the candidate performance,” said Ratsatsi.

For the candidates who sat for the 2012 examinations, many futures are still undecided as their fate lies with the results which were published last Tuesday. About 22 000 candidates who failed to meet requirements for a minimum grade of C or better might find themselves in the lurch as they have automatically failed to meet the selection requirements for BGCSE.

When asked about whether their selection of form four entry is going to be a less lenient exercise to avoid a case of having thousands of youth joining the pool of unemployment, Ratsatsi said they are still to meet with the stakeholders to discuss the issues of selection and high level of underperformance.

With controversies involved, there were then calls for Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi to step down as critics say she seems incapable of handling this country’s education.

The Department of Education Planning Research Service is also to engage in robust analysis, investigation and introspection on what could have caused below par performance of the 2012 Junior Certificate Examination (JCE) candidates.

“We have not yet looked at the results…We are about to compile results from each region then analyse them and do thorough investigations,” said Department of Education Planning Research Service Senior Research Officer, Elizabeth Ranganai.

She said that, with the results grabbing a lot of national attention, she and her team will find out what could have happened.

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Sunday Standard August 9 – 15

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 9 - 15, 2020.