Grade 10 and 12 pass rates to be adjusted soon

31 Jan 2016 14:20pm
MARIENTAL, 31 JAN (NAMPA) – The minimum pass rates for grades 10 and 12 will soon be increased from the current 23 points to address the mediocrity in Namibian schools, education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said.
Speaking to senior learners and teachers at this southern town on Saturday, Hanse-Himarwa said her ministry will soon announce the new required pass rates.
“This mediocrity of learners passing a grade with a combination of Ds, Es and Fs is absolutely disgraceful,” the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture said.
She said mediocrity was evident all over the country, citing short message service (SMS) pages of newspapers as an example.
“You can sense there that people are ignorant. The writings show limited knowledge and a low level of arguments. It made some of us realise that there is a serious case of ignorance in our country.”
The minister, a former teacher who originally hails from Hardap Region, picked up the rod for the poor performance of the region’s schools in the 2015 external examinations.
“When I saw the results, I was shocked and ashamed; you performed dismally.”
Hardap ranked seventh out of 14 regions in the 2015 Grade 12 examinations, while only about 40 per cent passed the Grade 10 exams.
Hanse-Himarwa said it was time to fix the problems prevalent in education.
“The time for talking about challenges is over. It is time for all regions to scramble for first place.”
The minister further announced that in May this year, 1 000 unqualified and partly qualified teachers from all regions will be enrolled at the University of Namibia (UNAM) to receive in-service training and return as qualified agents of change to fight poverty through education.
“Poverty can only genuinely be addressed though education. Government can give handouts and free education forever, but until we apply ourselves and get a good education, poverty will never be eradicated.”
The education ministry will also look into infrastructural development to fix dilapidated schools, hostels and accommodation for teachers in the near future, but Hanse-Himarwa noted how improving education standards involves more than just the ministry.
“We want to create conducive learning and teaching environments, but all will be in vain if teachers, parents and learners don’t pull up their socks.”
Saturday’s event was organised through the Hardap Regional Council and Governor’s Office to encourage a reading culture among learners.
It was also a celebration of Hanse-Himarwa’s birthday, which falls on 22 January.
“During my days as governor of Hardap, I decided to celebrate my birthday doing something progressive. Rather than eating cake and dancing with friends, I have decided to do something for the marginalised and something to help the community.”
Hanse-Himarwa said in previous years, she provided meals to poor people at her home and last year she organised clean-up campaigns in the region.
Other speakers at the reading day included school learners who encouraged their peers to up their game, read more books to expand their knowledge and improve their performance at school.