By William Mbangula
Education officials in the Oshana Region are urged to make a situational analysis in order to find out why learners have been performing poorly during the past years.
Such analysis should include, among others, a consciousness of time management for both teachers and learners, yardsticks to measure continuous assessment for designed learning activities, a strategic plan to assist school management to run the schools and a learning community spearheaded by the principal and school management.
This advice was given by the Governor of the Oshana Region, Clemens Kashuupulwa, in a speech at the prize-award ceremony of the Directorate of Education held at Elago Combined School in Ondangwa Constituency last Friday (June 1).
The speech was delivered on his behalf by the Councillor of Ondangwa, Ismael Uugwanga.
According to the Governor, Grade 10 examination statistics clearly show that improvement in learners’ performance is gradually and surely taking place in the schools but there is still more room for improvement.
In 2001, 39 percent of learners were promoted to Grade 11; in 2002 40 percent; in 2003, 40 percent; in 2005 45 percent; in 2005, 45 percent and 2006, 45,7 percent.
Last year, the Oshana Region was ranked sixth in terms of performance in Grade 10 and 7th in Grade 12.
As part of its efforts to encourage learners, teachers and managers of education, the Directorate of Education here honoured 47 of its best performing learners, teachers, schools, cluster centres and circuit inspectorates last Friday.
The Governor told the gathering, which included the Director of Education in the Oshana Region, Dutte Shinyemba as well as traditional and church leaders, that statistics for the last three years show that the region is stagnant in terms of learners’ performance.
He said: “I believe that managers in education, at different management levels should ponder this situation and really find out (if it is not yet known) as to why many learners are not doing well in their studies. School management, school boards, teachers and communities at large have to ensure that the education being provided to learners is of the quality that is one of the broad goals of the Ministry of Education.”
The Governor emphasised that quality assurance lies in the school principals’ abilities and capabilities of supervising and assisting their teachers when they need support. Therefore, he noted, school principals whose schools did badly in the past years should improve their supervision and monitoring of teaching and learning methods. They should be able to evaluate and appraise their teachers’ work or else their schools will experience another tragedy this year.
“Let us make use of workshops,” the Governor advised, “meetings, seminars and further studies to improve our skills and knowledge in order to prepare the learners for the real world of work.”
The education stakeholders were also urged to explore the ideas described in the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) document, which presents the education and training sector’s response to the call of Vision 2030.
When properly understood, said the Governor, the schools will facilitate the transition of communities to a knowledge-based economy.
Addressing himself to the best performing learners and education officials, he said the entire region is proud of them for their success and dedication to schoolwork, which can guarantee a prosperous Namibia of tomorrow.
In his view, Namibia can only be developed socially and economically by highly qualified soldiers, engineers, doctors, teachers, police officers and many others, if the learners and education officials continue to dedicate themselves to their work.
Close to 47 prizes were given to various individuals and institutions altogether. Prizes included certificates, cash, science equipment, calculators, sewing machines, trophies, books and medals.
Sponsorship was received from among many others the Directorate of Education, Oshana Regional Council, the German Embassy, Instant Project, Legal Shield, Gamsberg Macmillan, NIED, Standard Bank, Universal Sewing Machines, Zionist Funeral, Fysal, Henock Ya Kasita, Loide Shatiwa, Ismael Uugwanga, Metropolitan Life, Out of Africa Publishers, Eheke Circuit, Ongwena catering and Pupkewitz.
The prize for the overall most improved school in the region, sponsored by Oshana Regional Council, was given to Omusimboti Combined School.
Oshana Region has 133 schools (9 secondary schools, 48 combined, 6 junior, 61 primary and 9 private), four circuit offices and 22 cluster centres serving a population of more than 160 000.