Education system blamed for poor Grade 10 results

18 Dec 2015 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – The setup of the Namibian education system is to be blamed for the poor Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) Grade 10 results released on Wednesday.
Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) President, Mahongora Kavihuha told Nampa in an interview on Friday that the Namibian education system can be bettered if basic issues were addressed.
“One problem is the perception where we lied to ourselves that every Namibian child is an academic, which saw the removal of vocational subjects from schools,” said Kavihuha.
He lamented that the removal of vocational subjects from school has tailored down learners into becoming Grade 10 or 12 targets, only focusing on academics, as they do not acquire any vocational skills at schools.
With the new curriculum already in place at lower primary level, TUN is unimpressed and questioning the education system’s capacity to adapt to changes because there are concerns over the unavailability of teachers and teaching materials.
“This year has passed and teachers were without textbooks in schools, and if the new curriculum is to be implemented next year in the upper primary phase, where will these materials and teachers come from?
“We have observed in many schools that learners sit for half a year or even longer without teachers; how do you expect these leaners to perform better?”
According to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Grade 10 Accounting was one of the subjects in which learners performed poorly in the examinations.
Kavihuha attributed the high failure rate of learners in Accounting to the insufficient number of specialised teachers in the country. He said this is because many teachers opt for private companies where they get better salaries and other benefits.
The 2015 JSC Grade 10 results show that a total of 37 441 full-time learners registered to write the examinations and only 20 318 passed to Grade 11, which represents a 54.3 per cent pass rate for 2015. The Grade 10 pass rate in 2014 was 54.1 per cent.
Kavihuva said issues such as low teacher salaries and proper accommodation for teachers in rural areas must be addressed to make the teaching profession more attractive and respected.