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Submissions of Marks
#1

Good day

As we understand - the Dept of Education wants to gather SA-SAMS compatible data in their database format on a very regular basis.

As I understand it is as well, the Criterions(Tasks) and Activities which come pre-setup in SA-SAMS each have an Official ID - almost similar to a LURITS Subject Code.

Will the provinces be collecting the Learner vs. Task & Learner vs. Activity Raw marks as well of these mentioned above?

If so, what happens with the schools which create their own Subjects and Tasks, or add additional Tasks and Activities to the official subjects? Surely the weighting values will become different and if only the official SA-SAMS Tasks & Activities are incorporated into a warehouse for analytics, some data might become skewed?
ie: the Learner's Report Card and Promotions will be different to that which get incorporated into the warehouse (a learner might promote at their school, but if the additional tasks and activities are not incorporated into the warehouse, they might not promote if only the official tasks & activities are considered for calculations).
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#2

Hello there, [email protected],

I will reply to your statements and questions inline:

Quote:As we understand - the Dept of Education wants to gather SA-SAMS compatible data in their database format on a very regular basis.
True, in the Free State we are doing LURITS deployment and submitting to our Provincial Data Warehouse on a weekly basis, every Friday.

Quote:As I understand it is as well, the Criterions (Tasks) and Activities which come pre-setup in SA-SAMS each have an Official ID - almost similar to a LURITS Subject Code.
The Official Subject Codes from the National Policy Pertaining to the Programme and Promotion Requirements of the National Curriculum Statement for Grades R-12 are used.  Official Subjects are registered as such in SA-SAMS and are pre-setup.

Quote:Will the provinces be collecting the Learner vs. Task & Learner vs. Activity Raw marks as well of these mentioned above?
The Raw Marks still have a margin of flexibility built in. Raw Marks are converted to a fixed weighting, for standardization.

Quote:If so, what happens with the schools which create their own Subjects and Tasks, or add additional Tasks and Activities to the official subjects? Surely the weighting values will become different and if only the official SA-SAMS Tasks & Activities are incorporated into a warehouse for analytics, some data might become skewed?
ie: the Learner's Report Card and Promotions will be different to that which get incorporated into the warehouse (a learner might promote at their school, but if the additional tasks and activities are not incorporated into the warehouse, they might not promote if only the official tasks & activities are considered for calculations).
It is currently not dealt with in this fashion by submitting only certain criteria to the LURITS Data Warehouse, but developments in terms of fixing the SBA Setup in SA-SAMS hints strongly that a "fixed" model might be the anticipated direction. If implemented according to clear "rules" set in CAPS, this could be effective. That being said, some CAPS documents do not contain rigorous/strict directives in terms of how the recording should be effected and the fact remains that there is still not clarity in terms of whether CAPS is a minimum guideline, or whether it is the "all-and-all".

I am of opinion that it would be a sad day if all schools were simply forced to adhere to CAPS, as it would imply that all additional formal assessment (often incorporated and approved by Subject Advisors at District Level) would not provide the learner with ample opportunity to obtain a better grade, e.g. if the Learner did not submit a Task, then he/she would effectively get zero for an only assessment per term (e.g. Social Sciences).  In the short run, this would be good for Schools that don't have people with the necessary skills to administer the SBA setup properly, but not good for schools that need more flexibility. This would also hint at a Educational System that can be manipulated from high up, to create a smoke-screen for better results, than what is actually the case.

The fixing of weightings for Official Subjects in SA-SAMS is problematic and I am of opinion that is should be left to the school to determine if it wants to supplement the SBA, or stick with CAPS (provided that reasonable, clear "rules" are implemented in all CAPS documents, that do not merely disadvantage Learners).

In conclusion, I plan to report this concern to Carinne van der Westhuizen on Monday (2017/02/13), as we have had some frustration with this as well.

Sarel
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#3

Thank you for the answer.

So in short - every school in South Africa will have to remain stringent to the provided CAPS Setup to ensure a 'warehouse' of marks will actually provide accurate data especially when it comes to promotion time.

What do school's do which provide Subjects to learners such as the ACE Curriculum, or LSEN orientated subjects which are not provided by the Official SA-SAMS List of subjects?
Private schools are as well struggling to setup and maintain a true reflection of their curriculum as well submit the marks being requested by their districts.

SA-SAMS Does not have the flexibility nor the implementation availability to get every school ready for the demanded submissions it seems.
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#4

First off, if all goes according to plan, we will be seeing SA-SAMS Patch 17.0.0 by Monday, 27 February 2017.  One of the matters that will be addressed, is the lack of "flexibility" we encountered with the 2017 Curriculum implementation on SA-SAMS, mainly a re-introduction of the 2016 Curriculum setup for most part, with minor changes to a small number of Subjects (in line with CAPS).  More details will be made available in the News Forum once we have received the Patch and formal feedback from Carinne.

Quote:So in short - every school in South Africa will have to remain stringent to the provided CAPS Setup to ensure a 'warehouse' of marks will actually provide accurate data especially when it comes to promotion time.
1.1 Please allow me to clarify that I said that it "hints strongly that a 'fixed' model might be the anticipated direction" - my opinion; not a fact.

1.2 Personally, I don't agree with such a model and I will continue to express myself firmly against it, for as long as possible.

1.3 The accuracy in terms of individual Tasks and Activities would serve to ensure a uniform reporting standard that might be deemed necessary for statistical and reporting purposes to DBE, the Minister and the Cabinet, for example. This is pure speculation on my part, at this stage.

1.4 The accuracy of Final Promotion Marks is currently determined by the local SA-SAMS installation, at the School. Catering for this in the data warehouse itself could serve as a control measure to ensure that National Assessment Circulars on Promotion, for example, have been executed at the School side, and purely for the reasons indicated above.

1.5 A fixed model would better suit schools that do not have the necessary expertise yet, to properly and correctly configure their own SBA Setup.  I've spent hours and hours assisting Schools to fix weightings and incorrect configuration.

Quote:What do school's do which provide Subjects to learners such as the ACE Curriculum, or LSEN orientated subjects which are not provided by the Official SA-SAMS List of subjects?
2.1 There has been recent developments in SA-SAMS to include LSEN and CSPID (Children with Severe to Profound Intellectual Disabilities). It would be a good thing to forward some specifics on challenges experienced with LSEN to the EMIS Directorate, for Carinne's attention (contact details on the landing page). The more information, the better.
 
2.2 The A.C.E. Curriculum is unique in the sense that it allows an individual, paced focus with a strong Christian belief system as backbone, which isn't possible in all South African Public Schools. The objective of SA-SAMS is to cater for the Curriculum that is the norm in Public Schools and thus caters for CAPS (at present). Curricula beyond this scope usually has its own measures in place to drive its Administration, Curriculum Delivery, Assessment, Reporting and eventual absorption in Higher Education. It is not a given that such institutions would express interest in absorption in SA-SAMS, at all.

Quote:Private schools are as well struggling to setup and maintain a true reflection of their curriculum as well submit the marks being requested by their districts.
3.1 We can speak to Carinne about this. At the moment, I can't think of a reason why Independent Schools cannot use SA-SAMS, albeit by means of a setting that would allow them to customise their Curriculum to their hearts content, other than when a support issue might arise, which might be problematic.

3.2 Independent Schools have the right to determine how they govern the School, how they administer their Curriculum, can promote their own ethos and Religious Beliefs, etc. BUT they remain accountable to their clients, their Association (ISASA for example) and to the Department of Education, the latter in ensuring that their Curricular obligations are (at least) on par with the norm in well-functioning Public Schools. They can also choose a School Administration System of their liking and, depending on their Curricular needs, may opt not to use SA-SAMS at all, but other Third-Party solutions of their choosing. They usually have a sound Financial Support platform and appropriate support from parents, that is often lacking in Public Schools. On the other hand, many Public Schools have much more limited financial resources, often depend largely on Government (via their PED) for funding, suffer in the parent support department of things and thus opt to use SA-SAMS for ease of administration, as a cost-effective alternative to commercial solutions.

Quote:SA-SAMS Does not have the flexibility nor the implementation availability to get every school ready for the demanded submissions it seems.
4.1 Demanded Submissions = the LURITS Deployment to the EMIS Data Warehouse, just to be clear?

4.2 Flexibility: Yes, there has been challenges, but it is being worked on.

4.3 Implementation availability: Could you please elaborate?

Sarel
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#5

What in essence is required is that the powers that be who allocate the Subject National/LURITS Codes, be informed of the Independent School's Curriculums, such that their subject allocations can both:
1) Submit via LURITS/Districts successfully - customized subjects without OFFICIAL LURITS codes will cause errors?
2) Satisfy the DBE Dashboard's processes.

As for Demanded Submissions - this is again for
1) The EMIS Warehouse, whether it is by LURITS submissions from the schools themselves, or via Districts who have gathered information.
2) The DBE Dashboard

4.3 Implementation availability: Could you please elaborate?
SA-SAMS Patches can be downloaded, however from experience, end-users are not always capable of updating their own software - this causes delays when new features are to be used to capture new data for submissions, submissions which have deadlines. SA-SAMS Tech Support just does not have the capacity to ensure all 'clients' have the latest version, inclusive of new feature training (to ensure data quality) as well per-province statutory requirements, such that submissions can be successful across the board.

I'm curious to hear what the process is for Schools wishing to capture marks for subjects which are not defined in the SA-SAMS Caps Curriculum setups - and the impact of this on LURITS submissions, District Level Database submissions as well DBE Dashboard submissions.
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#6

The Official Subject Codes are drawn from the approved list of Subjects per Phase in the NPPPPR, as explained earlier on. Some Subjects have been added to SA-SAMS which are yet to appear in an updated version of the document, as far as my knowledge goes.

May I suggest that you furnish Carinne with specifics on your suggestions regarding the Curriculum for Independent Schools, or submit this via your Provincial EMIS Section, if you prefer?

Schools are supposed to have an ICT Champion (Teacher or Admin Staff Member), SA-SAMS Administrator and/or an EMIS Officer - these people are usually trained and well familiar with updating SA-SAMS. If they don't have the know-how, all they need to do is read the instructions on the landing page, or contact their EMIS Section. I honestly don't comprehend how that is a factor in terms of late submissions or a delay in accessing new features. Have they contacted their Provincial EMIS Section for training at all?

Sarel
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sed ipse spiritus postulat pro nobis, gemitibus inenarrabilibus


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