27 Mar 2014 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAR (NAMPA) - President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday announced that since the abolition of the payment of school fees in public primary schools in 2013, enrolment figures at pre-primary and primary school levels have increased significantly.
In his State of the Nation address delivered in the capital, the Head of State said at pre-primary school level, enrolment increased from under 15 000 learners in 2012 to more than 24 000 in 2013.
Similarly, Grade One enrolment increased from less than 66 000 to more than 74 000 learners in 2013. The President said as from 2016, the payment of school fees will be abolished at secondary school level.
He noted that with the support of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Namibia, the availability of textbooks reached the one-to-one ratio at secondary school level and one-to-two ratio at primary school level.
These resources must be maximised to contribute to better performance by our learners and to the overall improvement in examination results in our schools. I challenge our learners, teachers and all stakeholders in education to do their part to ensure higher pass rate at all levels, he stressed.
Pohamba also said it is important to prioritise early childhood development and learning as this is the best education investment Namibia can make in children and communities at large.
According to the President, research has proven that early childhood development creates a strong foundation for academic performance, reduces the repetition of grades and drop-out rates, and contributes to higher graduation rates at secondary and tertiary level.
For the sake of Namibia's future, the development and expansion of pre-primary education should enjoy greater attention, he added.
Another positive development is the expansion of the School Feeding Programme from 27 000 beneficiaries during 2013 to over 33 000 beneficiaries currently. An additional amount of N.dollars 50 million was mobilised to feed more learners as a result of the drought experienced in the country last year.
Pohamba further noted that the current school curriculum will be reviewed during the 2014/15 financial year with panels of experts to participate in the preparation of content, as well as teaching and learning materials of various subjects.
The revised curriculum will be phased-in as from 2015.
On tertiary level, the Namibian leader said enrolment now stands at over 26 000 students in public institutions. He noted that in Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions however, the number of graduates has not shown significant improvement despite increased allocation of resources to this sector.
Pohamba also stated that as from the 2015/16 financial year, Government will implement the Funding Framework for Public Tertiary Institutions aimed at facilitating an efficient, transparent and equitable of resources to tertiary education institutions.