The Annual National Assessment (ANA) was put in place by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as a strategy to annually measure progress in learner achievement. ANA is one of the initiatives that form the backbone of the DBE’s Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025.

ANA targets Literacy and Numeracy because these have been found universally to be the key foundational skills for successful learning in school and beyond. The tests are administered in all the eleven official languages in the foundation phase and in the two languages of teaching and learning in the Intermediate and Senior Phase. Necessary adaptations are effected for learners who experience various kinds of learning disabilities to ensure that every learner has the opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do in the assessment.

From 2012 the assessment included all learners in Grades 1 – 6 and Grade 9 and was administered in the third quarter of the school year. In 2014 the DBE will also pilot the assessment of a sample of learners in Grades 7 and 8. Based on the findings of the pilot, a decision will be made in 2015 on the assessment of Grade 7 and 8 learners.

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