18 Dec 2014 11:20am
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) - Delays in the delivery of textbooks for the new reformed curriculum will not have a negative impact on learning outcomes since resource-based teaching is encouraged in schools.
This was the view of the deputy director at the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) Patrick Simalumba in response to concerns raised by the Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN) that textbooks for the new curriculum to be implemented in primary schools next year have not yet been translated into the different local vernaculars.
TUN president Mahongora Kavihuha said during a media conference here on Tuesday that if the textbooks are not ready by January next year, it will result in teachers doing the translations themselves from the English textbooks, a situation which could put stress on the teachers.
Simalumba said in a media statement issued to Nampa on Wednesday that translations for subjects such as Mathematics and Environmental Studies for Junior Primary (Grade 0 to Three) have been completed, and evaluations to verify the quality of translations will be done in early January.
He said these books will be delivered to schools within the first term.
Simalumba said translations are usually not an easy exercise given the limited pool of local experts, and it requires subject experts to verify the standard of the orthography used.
He made it clear that the line ministry has procured three different English versions for Mathematics and Environmental Studies for teachers to use as resource material to address some competencies which may not be in the old textbooks.
The old textbooks - most of them of the 2010 revised editions - are not absolute that they have to be completely thrown away, he said, adding that publishers working in collaboration with subject curriculum panels are in the process of addressing shortcomings in textbooks in order to strengthen literacy and numeracy skills.
The NIED deputy director further explained that the delay in the evaluation and eventual translations was a result of the Curriculum Review and Learning Support Materials Bid Cycle Policy (2010) which had some concepts that related to procurement while it was supposed to be a more transparent evaluation of textbook quality according to curriculum compliance, and this could have been handled within the Education Ministry rather than the Tender Board.
Meanwhile, Simalumba noted that the textbooks for all language subjects in the Junior Primary phase were evaluated in May 2014, and will be available when schools open early next year.
These include Afrikaans First language, Afrikaans Second Language, Khoekhoegowab First Language, Rukwangali First Language, Rumanyo First Language, English First Language, English Second Language, German First Language, OshiKwanyama First Language, OshiDonga First Language, OtjiHerero First Language, Setswana First Language, Silozi First Language and Thimbukushu First Language.
Teachers will use Teacher's Guides in subjects such as Arts, Physical Education, and Religious and Moral Education which are only in English, since they do not need to be read by Junior Primary learners in their own languages and no learner books are necessary.