School-based assessment: the leash needed to keep the poetic ‘unruly pack of hounds’ effectively in the hunt for learning outcomes
The problem with assessment in South African public schools persists. In 2008 thousands of candidates taking South Africa’s first ever National Certificate Examination could not be resulted because of a failure to report school-based assessment (SBA) tasks. Only 62.5% of candidates prepared for the final external examination through a process of continuous SBA passed. In 2009 the pass rate dropped to a new low of 60.7%, which begs the question: why is SBA not serving its purpose of enhancing learning and preparing candidates for the high stakes external examinations? We focus on English First Additional Language (EFAL) teachers’ perceptions of SBA in the Further Education and Training (FET) band and the challenges they face with the implementation of the curriculum that calls for drastic changes in assessment practice.
Last lesson of the afternoon
When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?
How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart
My pack of unruly hounds! I cannot start
Them on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt, I can haul them and urge them no more.