21 Oct 2014 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 21 OCT (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Education (MoE) has implemented electronic marking in some subjects for the 2014 national examinations of Grades 10 and 12.
The subjects include geography, entrepreneurship, history, design and technology, and physical science.
The introduction of e-marking is a move in the right direction that the country should be proud of, the Minister of Education David Namwandi said.
In a speech read on his behalf by the MoE's Under-Secretary of Formal Education Charles Kabajani during the official opening of the 2014 National Examination Marking in the capital on Monday, Namwandi said building a knowledge-based economy demands that teachers should have technological-pedagogical content knowledge.
In this technologically advanced world you are expected to be competent in information and communication technology (ICT) to enable you to cope and successfully implement electronic marking, he said.
The minister called on the markers to become advanced educators through ICT, and ICT should also be used in the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning practices.
He explained that the MoE has moved giant steps in the process of reforming its curriculum and assessment activities.
In 2007, the MoE started the localisation of the Grade 12 subjects' syllabuses and their assessment activities from Higher or International General Senior Certificate of Secondary Education (H/IGCSE) to the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary or Higher Level (NSSCO/H).
Namwandi added that to date, all Grade 12 subjects are localised, except for the French Foreign Language which is in the process of being localised, and all this has been achieved before the implementation of the new curriculum for 2015.
He noted that the marking of national examinations is a mammoth and critical task, and its outcomes have important consequences for all learners.
The importance society puts on learners' good performance in the exams in terms of economic rewards and social status amplifies consequences of the national examination results on the learners, said Namwandi.
Such consequences, according to him, include a chance to be selected to a higher grade or admitted for further studies, and a better chance in the competitive job market.
Examination results to a great extend determines the destiny of all learners.
The Education Minister noted that consequently, the high-stakes nature of national examinations has been seen by many educators as putting pressure on classroom teaching, moreover national examinations in general have even been accused of forcing the curriculum to be test-driven.
However, he said, this should not be the case if the country's high-stakes examination activities allow the learners to portray the qualities desired by the teaching process.
Namwandi indicated that teaching to high-stakes examinations is unavoidable due to its consequences on the learners, and there is therefore a need to take advantage of this and ensure that the examination activities inform classroom teaching positively.
About 46 357 Grade 10 full-time and part-time learners registered for the 2014 national examinations, compared to 44 374 in 2013.
For Grade 12, about 44 932 full-time and part-time Ordinary-Level learners registered for the 2014 national examinations, compared to 42 861 in 2013, while 12 166 learners registered for Grade 12 Higher-Level examinations, compared to 11 660 in 2014.
A total of 1 527 markers have been appointed to mark Grade 10 examination answer papers, and 1 040 markers for Grade 12 answer scripts.