Mentor Letter: Academic accommodations and concessions
“Barriers (to learning) might in one way or another prevent a learner/student from giving a true account of his/her knowledge and skills when assessed and might require adaptive methods of assessment.” Policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment & Support 2014
Learners who have a barrier to learning or a medical condition which impacts their ability to perform in exams may apply for accommodations or concessions. These are valid when the learner writes formal assessments such as tests and examinations.
A language concession can be applied for in the case of an immigrant learner or student. This usually means that a student who has been living in South Africa for a very limited time period may be exempted from offering one of the South African official languages as a First Additional Language. There are numerous specific conditions and requirements that have to be met in order to receive a language concession. Other than a language concession, a mathematical concession may be granted to a learner should he/she be diagnosed with Dyscalculia. This means that the learner may be exempted from Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics.
Accommodations are applied to equalise opportunities for all learners by addressing barriers learners may experience and to provide support for learners that will enable them to give a true account of their knowledge and skills.
In order to receive an accommodation, a student needs to submit a detailed psycho-educational assessment. The report clearly needs to state how the student’s barrier to learning or medical condition impacts their ability to perform to their full potential.
It is important to note that the assessment standard is not affected in any way. Thus the student’s qualification standard is not compromised, nor do they have an unfair advantage over their peers.
Examples of accommodations may include one or more of the following: additional time, computer usage, enlarged print, medication/food intake, oral examination, prompter, reader, scribe or a separate venue.
Should you want to apply for a concession or an accommodation for a learner, please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org. The IEB does have an application fee – but, should the application be granted – it remains valid up to and including the student’s final Gr 12 IEB NSC Examination. Note that there is a late submission penalty fee for any accommodation application received after October of the Gr 11 year. We suggest that applications are considered as early as Grade 8 but no later than at the start of the Gr 11 year.
“Every learner is a star – they need the opportunity to show how much they shine!”
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