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THE recommendations of the National Curriculum Statement review panel will benefit education.

THE recommendations of the National Curriculum Statement review panel will benefit education.

This according to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), which welcomed the recommendations by the National Curriculum Implementation Review Committee.

In July the Education Ministry appointed a task team to investigate the nature of challenges experienced with the implementation of the NCS.

The task team consulted widely with teachers and other stakeholders and found that the curriculum was broadly welcomed by teachers and the education community.

The key recommendations by the committee are:

lThe need to reduce the amount of administrative work for teachers resulting from the planning and assessment requirements of the NCS;

lThe discontinuation of pupil portfolios;

lReducing the number of learning programmes (subjects) in the intermediate phase (Grade 4 to 6) from eight to six;

lGiving priority to English as a first additional language;

lThe reassertion of the importance of textbooks and their use in the curriculum.

lTargeted curriculum training for teachers; and

lDeveloping a coherent, clear and simple five year plan to improve the understanding of the NCS in the system.

"We welcome the reduction of the number of subjects in the Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 to 6) from 8 to 6.

"This will enable teachers to focus on developing deeper conceptual understanding than was previously possible.

In addition the number of assessments will also be reduced and more time made available for quality teaching and learning," Sadtu said in a statement.

The union said they were looking forward to "engaging the Department of Education on processes to reduce the teacher's administrative load in relationship to planning and assessment".

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