//Karas contemplating extending teaching hours

11 Jan 2014 15:40pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 JAN (NAMPA) - The computer labratories donated by Namport over the past two years to six schools around //Karas Region have not been utilised optimally.
This was announced by //Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi during the annual two-day regional principals’ meeting which started here on Thursday.
The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport), through its Social Development Fund, donated information and communication technology (ICT) laboratories worth N.dollars one million to six schools in the //Karas Region in 2012 and 2013.
“I am informed that some of these schools even lock the facilities and not allow learners to use them. I need to know why such things are happen,” Swartbooi enquired.
He then requested thorough explanations from the principals of the benefiting schools such as Mina Sachs Primary School, Ernst Jager Secondary School, Lordsville Junior Secondary School, J A Nel Secondary School and Oorsterheim Combined School.
In response, some of the principals denied having restricted access to such laboratories, while others said they only open them during specific hours assigned to subjects requiring computer use.
Other principals preferred to discuss the matter with the governor in private after the meeting.
“This issue is not only a disappointment from my side and the community, but also for the sponsor of such facilities,” Swartbooi said.
The annual principals’ meeting discussed ways to improve the performance and quality of education in the //Karas Region, with focus on Grade 10 and 12.
The governor and the education leaders here agreed to try the extension of the current teaching hours of 07h00-14h00 with an hour and 30 minutes (07h00-15h30).
This is aimed at providing extra time for teaching to all schools in the region, so that teachers can cover as much work as they can with learners.
However, the suggestion still needs to be discussed in detail.
Swartbooi also used the platform to caution primary school principals not to ask for development funds from parents anymore, saying Government is already taking care of that through the universal free primary education programme.
“Asking money from parents at a primary school is unlawful. I understand the parents are told to give money for pencils, photocopying papers and other things that Government is already providing. This has to stop.
However, if any donation is requested for a good developmental reason than that is acceptable,” said the governor.
He encouraged principals and heads of department (HoDs) at schools to constantly supervise teachers to make sure that none of them neglect their duties and let children fail.
The //Karas Region is ranked 11th out of 13 regions in the 2013 national Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) (Grade 10) results.