The Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), Dr Surette van Staden expressed pride in the CEA’s contribution towards the School Monitoring Survey (SMS) report which was released by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga in April 2019. The SMS is a national survey that was commissioned by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in 2017 to measure South African ordinary public schools’ progress towards achieving the key goals and indicators set out in Action Plan 2019 and in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019.
In 2018, the CEA together with Nexia SAB&T Consultants collected and analysed qualitative data collected in 3 provinces, Western Cape, Free State and Limpopo province for the SMS project. The data collection process involved conducting classroom observations and interviews with school principals, mathematics and language teachers as well as members of the School Governing Body (SGB). The SMS focused on gathering information which is not available in other data systems or is collected in a different way and requires validation. In 2017, the SMS focused on 13 of the 15 Action Plan indicators which were measured in 2011. In addition, the SMS collected information about teacher and principal views on provincial, national and international assessments, provisioning for Grade R learners in schools, the value and use of the South African School Administration and Management System (SA-SAMS), and the feasibility of implementing the policy on Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIALS).