WINDHOEK — A lack of parent involvement in the education of their children has come out as the most crucial reason why Khomas Region performed among the worst in the country for the Junior Secondary School Certificate (JSCC) examinations.
Khomas Region hit rock bottom this year, slipping down from tenth spot to 12th place in the Grade 10 results.
Rusten Mogane, a veteran teacher and former Namibia Sports Commission administrator, said that although Khomas Region has good schools, parents do not involve themselves in their children’s education.
“I did some research on this. Schools call parents to parent meetings, but they don’t come,” he said, suggesting that structures such as the Khomas Regional Council, the different school boards, Namibia Teachers Union (Nantu) and Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) get involved in the matter.
Mogane said discipline was another factor, which worsens the situation as parents do not control their kids from frequenting shebeens and clubs when they are supposed to be doing homework.
“In our time, children were in the house by six o’clock. Now you still find children running around the streets after 11 o’clock at night,” he lashed out, saying there was no respect and no culture of learning among learners today.
He said that children are bombarded with technology, especially the Internet, cellphones, SMS texting and certain television shows which distract them from learning.
Mogane also took a swipe at teachers, saying that some teachers have no interest in their profession and do not want to avail extra time for their learners.
“Teachers must know that education is a calling. They must sacrifice themselves and know they are responsible for children’s education,” he said, adding that at some schools less than 17 percent of learners attend afternoon studies.
Ottilie Abrahams, the principal of Jacob Marengo Secondary School in Katutura, said the results were terrible for the Khomas Region and also found fault with teachers whom she said lacked participation in school activities.
“We should have a conference of stakeholders early in the year (2014) to investigate this,” she said.
She said that this year, they even held classes on Saturdays but only a few learners pitched up.
She said that Khomas Region’s learners had fantastic access to information, but technology was also a big distraction at the same time.
Nantu’s secretary general, Basilius Haingura, said that they were generally happy with the improvement of Grade 10 results, especially in the northern regions but were disappointed about Khomas Region’s performance.
“We can’t believe they are not performing,” he said, sharing the sentiment that teachers lacked commitment to their profession.
He said that at least the bush allowance for teachers is working as it has attracted good teachers to the more rural regions, which is reflected in the better results of those regions.
Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi, who on Tuesday announced the examination results for Grade 10 part-time and full-time learners and Grade 12 Higher Level learners said that there was some slight improvement this year compared to last year’s results.
Out of 34 054 candidates who wrote Grade 10 examinations, 18 613 students (54.7 percent) passed and will be promoted to Grade 11.
The statistics show an increase of 2.6 percent from 2012, with 52.1 percent of learners qualifying for admission to Grade 11.
Oshikoto Region remains the best performing region, followed by Oshana Region, Omusati Region, Ohangwena, Kavango and Zambezi.
Otjozondjupa is the worst performing region this year, while last year’s worst performer, Hardap Region, has moved three places up to become the tenth best performer.
Khomas is the second worst performing region, behind Karas, Hardap and Kunene in ninth place, Erongo in the eighth spot and Omaheke having moved up one place to become the seventh best performer.
Boniface College in Rundu remains the best performing school, followed by Negumbo Senior Secondary School, Canisianum Roman School, Edugate Academy, Heroes Combined School (CS) and Oshigambo Secondary School in sixth place.
The six worst performing schools from bottom are Gam CS, Ndoro Memorial CS, Adam Steve CS, Mabushe CS, Vooruitsig Junior Secondary School and Augustineum Secondary School.
Female learners outperformed their male counterparts this year again, where of 130 best performers, 79 (60.8 percent) were female while 51 or 39.2 percent of the total were males.
By Magreth Nunuhe