13 Oct 2016 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 13 OCT (NAMPA) Grade 12 learners have expressed great concern over the postponement of their examinations that were Thursday put on hold due to the teacher's countrywide strike.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture on late Wednesday suspended teaching activities and examinations at all public schools for Thursday and Friday.
The year-end examinations by the education authority at private schools were also suspended till Monday following a court ruling in favour of the teachers strike in demand for an eight per cent increment from Government.
Grade 12 learner at Jan Jonker Secondary School, Antoinette Domingo told Nampa on Thursday that Government should have found an alternative to make sure that learners' examinations are not disrupted because of the strike.
This is not acceptable and is stressful. We really want to write and we do not even know until when this postponement will be.
Negotiations between Government and the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) started around April this year but ended up in the Labour Court mid October over strike rules, including Governments intention to recruit volunteers during the strike. This, Nantu and labour lawyers said, is against the labour laws of Namibia that prohibit the replacement of striking workers - unless in situations that can result in the loss of life.
Another Grade 12 learner at the same school, Duncan Towe, said the strike not only affects their examinations but also their future.
He noted that the Grade 12 examination determines whether learners pursue higher education or enter the job market.
Kahepako Muundjua of Jan Mohr Secondary School, also a Grade 12 learner, called on Government to urgently rescue learners as the future leaders of Namibia.
This is affecting us in a bad way and we have to write and finish what we have studied, so that we have more time to ourselves, she stressed.
In a statement issued here Thursday, Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa said Government is committed to have this matter resolved as soon as possible.
She also expressed appreciation to all the teaching and non-teaching staff members who decided to put the interest of the Namibian children before their own by reporting for duty on Thursday.
Various learners around Namibia were sent home on Thursday morning as no teachers showed and the strike commenced countrywide.
Teachers are demanding a salary increment of eight per cent while Government is insisting on five per cent citing financial constraints.