Teachers need better training in vernaculars

23 Dec 2015 08:10am
WINDHOEK, 23 DEC (NAMPA) - The Secretary-General of the Namibia National Teachers' Union (NANTU) says the education ministry should equip teachers who teach first languages with the right resources.
At a media conference last week, Basilius Haingura, who was responding to the recently released Grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) and Grade 12 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Higher-Level results, said the lack of teachers being trained in teaching vernacular languages has contributed to the learners’ poor performance in the different first languages’ examinations.
In her statement at the release of the results last week, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa listed 16 subjects in which learners this year performed poorly and added that efforts must be geared towards improving such results.
Half of those subjects were written as first languages: Afrikaans, Portuguese, Oshikwanyama, Oshindonga, Rukwangali, Rumanyo, Silozi and Thimbukushu.
“It is very wrong for a student to fail the first language which they speak at home and this is just an indication that there is a problem with the education system,” said Haingura.
He said once properly trained, the teachers will be able to deliver quality and efficient educational services to the children.
In Afrikaans First Language, learners obtained an average of 56,3 per cent in 2014 compared to 54.3 per cent in 2015; Portuguese First Language 73,7 per cent in 2014 compared to 71,6 per cent in 2015; Oshikwanyama 60,9 per cent in 2014 and 59,1 per cent in 2015; Oshindonga is 61,8 per cent in 2014 and 58,3 per cent in 2015; Rukwangali is 67,9 per cent in 2014 and 65,7 per cent in 2015; Rumanyo 61,5 per cent in 2014 and 62,1 per cent in 2015, Silozi is 69,4 in 2014 and 68,0 per cent in 2015; while Thimbukushu is 70,1 per cent in 2014 and 65,5 per cent in 2015.
President of the Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN) Mahongora Kavihuha, who also spoke on the issue, said learners performed poorly in first languages because the textbooks learners are being taught from were wrongly translated.
“It is justifiable for learners to be performing so poor in indigenous languages because many of these textbooks the learners are being taught from were wrongly translated,” he noted.
He added that teachers don't teach vernacular languages and as such translate English into the local languages, which makes the local languages lose value, as some information is lost in translation.