Science students held back by lack of equipment

23 Jul 2013 09:40
By Tjikunda Kulunga
OPUWO, 23 JUL (NAMPA) - The government and private sector should invest more in scientific equipment and facilities at State schools, a local principal said on Tuesday.
“This would facilitate the attainment of Vision 2030, and aid the production of future engineers, geologists and scientists for Namibia,” Mureti Secondary School principal Julius Kaujova told Nampa at Opuwo.
According to him, there are very big disparities when it comes to resources’ distribution and facilities between urban and rural schools.
There are learners here who want to pursue Science as a career, but they are held back by the lack of equipment and facilities, and thus cannot write Physical Science examinations on a Higher Level.
His school has a science classroom which was initially designed as a laboratory, but it was vandalised and now looks just like an ordinary classroom.
Kaujova, who became principal at Mureti this year, said the previous management of the school is partly to blame, because they could not maintain the little there was in the science lab.
“Mureti has 35 Grade 12 learners who major in Physical Science and Mathematics, but they mainly focus on theory and have never seen some of the chemicals and equipment they are being taught about every day,” he decried.
Another Opuwo school with the same problem is the Putuavanga Secondary School.
A Science teacher at Putuavanga, Kunovandu Hepute, told this agency that his school has four classrooms for Physical Science, Chemistry, Biology and Life Science, as well as Home Science.
With the exception of the Home Science class, none of the other classrooms are equipped with the necessary tools and chemicals.
Some of the chemicals at both schools expired in 1994, according to the labels on the bottles seen by this reporter.
However, the Regional Education Office of Kunene earlier this year bought a few accessories and equipment for both schools.
Putuavanga added some more accessories and equipment with its own funds to the value of N.dollars 5 000, and is planning to allow seven Grade 12 learners to write Physical Science on Higher Level for the first time this year.
In order for a student to qualify for the Engineering course at the University of Namibia, a learner needs to gain a B or C symbol in Mathematics or Physical Science, amongst other subjects, which is impossible for students here to attain without experimental experience and without writing the national exams on Higher Level.