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Cabinet appeals to unions to reach solution on ANAs

Nearly all teacher unions have told government that they are not ready to administer the ANA.

Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe during a post cabinet briefing at Tshedimosetso House in Hatfield, Pretoria on 25 September 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The cabinet has appealed to education unions to resolve their impasse with government officials about the Annual National Assessments (ANA), to ensure the exams are written.

Nearly all teacher unions have told government that they are not ready to administer the ANA.

There are now growing concerns that there will be a shortage of invigilators when the assessments are conducted in December.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says the cabinet supports the education minister's efforts to ensure the ANAs are written at the end of the year.

He says while they noted the concerns from teachers, cabinet believes the assessments should go ahead.

"The interest of government must be education, especially the learners, that's why we've urged all parties, education and teacher associations, to continue the dialogue and there are intentions of having further meetings in order to ensure that this programme must go ahead."

Radebe says while cabinet will not directly intervene, it believes the department will be able to appoint invidulators and conduct assessments without disruptions.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and four other unions have vowed to block their members from invigilating the ANAs until the tests are reformed.

They believe the ANAs in their current form are not beneficial to teachers or pupils and will put an additional burden on teachers if written in December.

The department's Elijah Mhlanga said, "Parents must not panic, the ANAs are going to take place and teachers in all of our schools will prepare for the ANAs which will take place in the first week of December."

Meanwhile, the DA has announced it will be laying a complaint against Sadtu with the Human Rights Commission for standing in the way of children's rights to basic education.