Educators' perceptions of the Foundation Phase English Home Language Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement

  • Radhamoney Govender University of South Africa
  • Anna Hugo University of South Africa
Keywords: Outcomes-based Education, Revised National Curriculum Statement, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, Foundation Phase


Numerous transitions in South Africa’s basic education curriculum development have been criticised for failing to meet stakeholders’ expectations. Questions have arisen as to whether the latest Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) is functioning effectively in Foundation Phase classrooms and whether it will improve the quality of education and transform the country’s schools. For an in-depth understanding of educators’ perceptions of the Foundation Phase English Home Language CAPS document and workbook, 13 educators from five English-medium primary schools in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, were interviewed. They criticised the structure of the phonics and the highly pressurised programme. In particular, they advocated the return to a more systematic method of teaching phonics and a reduction in the number of assessments demanded. Another issue highlighted by the educators is the over-rigorous pace and rigid structure of the Foundation Phase English Home Language CAPS document, especially for the first two terms of Grade 1. The added value of this study is its bringing on board, for the first time, the views of experienced educators directly involved in the hands-on implementation of the English Home Language CAPS.

Author Biographies

Radhamoney Govender, University of South Africa
Radhamoney Govender is an educator at Marburg Primary School and a facilitator for the North West University. She has twenty-two years of teaching experience in the Foundation Phase. She has a HED, BA degree, B Ed Honours, M Ed Degree and a D Ed degree. She is involved in research related to education. E-mail:
Anna Hugo, University of South Africa
Anna J Hugo is a research associate in the Department of Language Education, Arts and Culture at UNISA. She was attached to this department as a professor. She is a rated NRF researcher and has published widely. She edited two books on English as a first additional language. E-mail: