New school curriculum and structure for Namibian schools

14 Mar 2014 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) - Learners set to start pre-primary school under the Junior Primary phase at government schools in 2015 will be fully-exposed to their mother-tongues as a medium of instruction in the formal schooling system up to Grade Five.
This will come with the implementation of the revised curriculum in schools starting next year, as was announced by Education Minister, Dr David Namwandi in the capital on Thursday.
Other subjects for the Junior Primary phase include English, mother- tongue/predominant local language, Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Arts, Physical Education and Religious and Moral Education.
Namwandi noted that the curriculum of the Senior Primary phase, which are Grades Five to Seven, will be implemented in 2016, and will consist of five promotional core subjects - English, the mother-tongue, Mathematics, Natural Science and Health Education, Social Studies plus three promotional pre-vocational subjects.
The three promotional pre-vocational subjects include elementary agriculture, design and technology and home ecology (with entrepreneurial skills integrated).
The curriculum for learners from Grades Five to Seven (Senior Primary phase) will also have five support subjects - Life Skills, Religious and Moral Education, Arts, Information and Communication and Physical Education.
The curriculum of the Junior Secondary phase, which has Grades Eight to 10, will have nine promotional subjects, of which six are core promotional subjects and three elective promotional subjects.
The six compulsory promotional subjects will be English, Mathematics, Life Science, Physical Science, Geography and History, while the elective subjects include another language (First, Second or Foreign), Agriculture, Computer Studies, Design and Technology, Accounting, Office Practice, Entrepreneurship, Visual Art, Integrated Performing Arts, Hospitality, Home Economics, Fashion and Fabrics, Technical Studies A,B and C subjects (covering learning areas of metalwork and welding, woodwork, building studies, electricity and electronics, auto-mechanics) and Technical Drawing.
The support subjects include Life Skills, Arts, Religious and Moral Education, Information and Communication and Physical Education.
The minister further announced that the current Grade 10 exit point system will also be phased-out in 2019, and Grade 11 will become the first exit point in the schooling system under the Senior Secondary phase.
Learners will then write the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) Level examinations at the end of Grade 11, and receive Ordinary Level Certification, which is pitched at the Namibia Qualifications’ Framework (NQF) Level Three.
Learners who opt to exit the schooling system at this level will have an internationally-recognised certificate, which would allow them access into further education and training institutions which offer diploma and certificate programmes pitched at NQF Levels Five and Six, or enter the job market.
Namwandi said such programmes may include technical/vocational education and teacher education for pre-primary and junior primary teachers.
For the NSSCO course (Grades 10 and 11) in the Senior Secondary phase, learners will take two promotional core subjects, four promotional elective subjects and four support subjects.
The curriculum of the NSSCO course will consist of six promotional subjects and four support subjects, and core subjects such as English and Mathematics or Advanced Mathematics.
Support subjects include Life Skills, Arts, Information and Communication and Physical Education.
He further announced that learners in Grade 12 will sit for the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Higher (NSSCH) level at the end of Grade 12, which prepares learners for continued studies.
Such school-leavers will have an internationally-recognised certificate, which gives them access to higher education institutions with NQF level four entry requirements, or for the job market.
The NSSCH will be benchmarked against the Cambridge Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS).
In addition, the Advanced Level (A Level) - based on the Cambridge A level - will be introduced into Namibian senior secondary education through a phase-in plan.
Learners taking subjects at the ‘A' Level will write the ‘A' Level National Examinations after 13 years of schooling, Namwandi explained, adding that the Ministry of Education plans to implement the revised curriculum of the Senior Secondary phase as from 2019, starting with Grade 10.