Northern education directors react to matric results

Ongwediva – Despite challenges of lack of accommodation, unqualified teachers and overcrowding in classrooms, the Ohangwena and Omusati regions were able to overcome these challenges and move three places up in the Grade 12 national results ranking.

The same could not be said for Oshana which maintained position 13 while the Oshikoto Region, which came second in 2015, has dropped four places down to number six.

Ecstatic as usual, Oshikoto Education Director Lameck Kafidi said the region will embrace the drop and use it as a learning curve.

“Falling means being able to pick oneself up and move on and that is what we are going to do as a region,” said Kafidi as he explained that the fall would not be permanent.

The director partially blamed the drop on the teachers’ strike which he alluded created low morale amongst the staff, as well as financial constraints as a result of the budget cut last year.

He said the region had to withdraw some of its interventions aimed at improving results.

Kafidi said the region would continue to strengthen efforts to produce quality symbols that will subsequently contribute to improving its current position.

The Director of Education in Ohangwena Region, Isak Hamatwi, whose region has moved from position eight to five, said Ohangwena will continue to strengthen the strategies in place, with the hope of moving further up in the national ranking.

“You cannot really change a system that is not faulty – we will keep improving what is already in place,” said Hamatwi.

Hamatwi said the region is challenged by poor English results.

He said while learners are acquiring good symbols in other subjects, English continues to lag behind.

“We will now put the emphasis on the examination report and concentrate on the English symposium in order to improve results,” said Hamatwi.

Another happy director is Laban Shapange of Omusati education directorate.

Despite the common problems as experienced by all the other regions, Shapange said the region is working towards reducing Grade 11 classes at combined schools which were identified as contributing to the failure rate.

Also, the region has set targets to complete at least 70 percent of the syllabus in Grade 11 as opposed to ‘relaxing’ in Grade 11 and then putting emphasis in Grade 12.

Similar to Ohangwena Region, Omusati will equally look at mechanisms to improve its English results. An English symposium is already on the cards.

In addition, Shapange said the region would also put less emphasis on workshops and focus more on visiting individual schools, as well as assist teachers and learners at school level.

Many of the learners in these three regions are exposed to alcohol use and poor learning environments, while the regions do not have enough hostels to cater all leaners. As a result of a lack of accommodation many learners travel vast distances to and from school.

Equally, these regions continue to battle with overcrowding in classrooms, with the teacher-learner ratio hiking to more than 45 learners per teacher.

January 2017
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