Automatic promotion of learners must go: Namwandi

01 Jun 2014 11:00am
GOBABIS, 01 JUN (NAMPA) - The automatic promotion of learners to higher grades not only encourages laziness amongst learners, but also paralyses the education system, Education Minister Dr David Namwandi has said.
Namwandi, who made the remarks during a surprise visit to the Omaheke Regional Education Directorate offices on Friday, said the ministry is in the process of closely analysing the issue to determine its success rate.
He said the current system - which automatically promotes learners who do not meet the set promotion criteria but who have failed the grade once before, amongst others - has led to high drop-out and failure rates at grades where the system is not applicable.
“I do not like this system of automatic promotion. It is not a good system at all as it paralyses the system by sending through undeserving learners to higher grades. We need to seriously look at this,” he said.
Namwandi also spoke out against the awarding of “ghost marks” to learners who fail to complete a school year, or those who were without a teacher for long periods of time.
According to the minister, such practises undermine the hard work of other students who find themselves at shoulder level with their undeserving counterparts.
He said the practise of “ghost marks” is especially highly counter-productive when applied during the lower primary stages of learners.
“I want a situation where we do not allocate ghost marks to learners in the lower primary stages. This practise does not encourage learning and teaching at all,” he noted.
The minister used the opportunity to encourage educators in the region to do everything necessary to bring down the number of failures and repetition in schools.
Namwandi also visited a few schools within the vicinity of Gobabis during his short surprise visit, where he met with principals and teachers.