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National Evaluation Plan: Implementation of the National Curriculum Statement Grade R to 12 focusing on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS)

JET's evaluation conducted for the DPME is available on the DPME's web site .

From the DPME's newlsetter: Evaluation Update, 30 April 2018: 

"Together with the Department of Basic Education, we evaluated implementation of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). The evaluation focused on 24 case studies on a matched-pairs design, with one outlier. This included 12 primary schools and 12 secondary schools sampled from Quintile 1-3 schools (the poorest) in four provinces: Eastern Cape (EC), Gauteng (GP), Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) and Mpumalanga (MP). The case studies were supplemented by engaging with curriculum officials at national, provincial, and district levels.

The evaluation found that in its design the National Curriculum Statement is superior to its predecessors and offers clear guidance to teachers. However, implementation of CAPS has been inefficient. A major problem is that teachers do not follow the timetable proposed in CAPS. On average, across the 24 schools, 18% of teachers were not in class during one or both of the two observation periods on each day of the field visit. In addition, there are frequent disruptions to the timetable for a variety of reasons including teacher training, union meetings, memorial services, etc. Most interviewees indicated that district, provincial, and national officials are aware of the constant disruptions of teaching in schools but do not accept responsibility for school functionality, while those who do feel powerless to intervene. 
A second major problem hampering curriculum delivery is poor teacher knowledge. On tests consisting of typical tasks encountered in the curriculum, only five of the 22 Grade 2 teachers tested achieved the modest benchmark of 60% in English First Additional Language (EFAL), and three achieved it in Mathematics. The picture for Grade 10 teachers is similar: on the same test administered to Grade 2 EFAL teachers, six of the 12 English teachers achieved 70%; on a Grade 10 level Mathematics test, four of the 12 Mathematics teachers scored 70%, and three of the 12 Mathematical Literacy teachers 60%. These results suggest that the majority of these teachers do not have the subject content knowledge required to teach the subjects effectively.  The evaluation concludes that significant blockages occur at key points in the implementation of the curriculum and proposes five main recommendations to address these blockages including the revision to curriculum and practice standards, application of merit based appointment and promotion policies, improvements to school functionality, amongst others". 

The summary  evaluation report and the DBE's improvement plan can be accessed from the DPME website