Teachers, parents to be held accountable for pupils’ results – Minister
WINDHOEK – Teachers and parents will soon be held accountable for the disappointing performances of Grade 10 and 12 pupils in examinations, the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Honourable Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has said.
She was speaking on Wednesday at the announcement of the 2017 Grade 12 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate ordinary level results in Windhoek.
The highly anticipated matric results from the 2017 October/November exams became available online and via SMS as from midnight on 11 January 2018 and are on display at regional educational directorate offices.
A total of 72 619 candidates sat for the exams, out of which 16 314 were higher level and 56 305 ordinary level, with results falling below 40% which is the national target.
The minister said that the regions that did not doing well were pulling down the overall performance rates of the country at the cost of those performing better.
“This thing of failing learners and coming back to do the same thing every year must come to an end. This thing of sending children who cannot read and do basic mathematics to the next grade must come to an end,” said Himarwa.
She said that in an effort to improve the quality and level of education at schools and education centres, poor performing teachers and schools would receive the necessary assistance to enhance the grades and achievement rates to a better place.
She also said that if the current poor performance rates continued, disciplinary action would be taken against the accountable parties.
“You cannot be producing ungraded entries throughout the year in the subject that you teach and come back relaxed. We will not allow it. From the Grade Zero to the Grade 12 teachers, we are going to be reckoning. 2018’s reckoning is for every single teacher responsible for children’s education, not only for secondary level. It is high time that we start moving away from this mediocrity, low performance, visionless approach and laziness and start to look at ourselves, our leadership and contribution towards regional performance,” said Himarwa.
Meanwhile, learners from St Boniface College in Kavango East region occupied all top 10 spots of the Grade 12 ordinary level outcomes, alongside Rukonga Vision School which is also from the same region.
The top five highest performing private schools are St Boniface College, St Paul’s College, Elcin Nkurenkuru High School, Swakopmund Private School and Oshigambo High School. The top five highest performing government high schools are Rukonga Vison School, Rev Juuso Shikongo, Negumbo, Delta and Gabriel Taapopi secondary schools.
As indicated in the Fifth (NDP) National Development Plan, the national target for candidates who qualify for tertiary admission has been brought down from 45% in 2016 to 40% this year. This year shows a 2.6% increase in the number of graded students that registered for part time studies and out of the compulsory subjects that did not reach the national target, English recorded a 29% performance rate out of the 30% target. The number of ungraded candidates was 7 400 and out of the graded candidates only 39% of students that applied for tertiary education qualified for admission.
Himarwa said: “We have now taken a deliberate decision to dissect the performance rate of subjects per region to pave the way for interventions in order to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills to poor performing schools. Research will be done on the poor performances together with pulling expertise from a national and regional level for a solution on the challenge at hand.”
In an effort to make sure that no candidates were disadvantaged in terms of applications for tertiary level studies, the minister said that students had until 19 January for remarking applications and that regional officers should forward any amount of applications throughout this timeframe to the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment to avoid delays.
“There is much more that needs to be done to elevate the learning outcomes to a satisfactory level. Stakeholders, teachers and education directorates need to come up with collaborative initiatives to facilitate improvements in results,” Himarwa said.