Plenty of Room for Improvement

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By Anna Ingwafa

Ondangwa

Oshana Region’s Grade 10 results have improved by 1.8% in 2007 on the 45% in 2006.

This statistic shows that there is still a lot to be done in order to reach the level of performance that the region can be proud of, said Oshana Governor, Clemens Kashuupulwa, at a prize-giving ceremony in recognition of good work by both teachers and learners in the recent Junior Secondary Certificate and Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) examinations for 2007 at Etambo Combined School.

Despite the region having set a target at 55% last year, only 47.3% managed to be promoted to Grade 11 – a situation that sent many learners to Namcol, caused some learners to repeat Grade 10 and some even being sent to the streets, according to the governor.

“Though our region did not make significant improvement in terms of learners’ performance last year, I strongly believe there is room to improve if were to redouble our concerted efforts in executing all school-related activities. School management, school boards, teachers and communities at large should ensure that the education being provided to learners is of good quality, as quality is one of the broad goals of the Ministry of Education,” said Kashuupulwa.

The governor called for improvement in performance in schools, urging inspectors of education and advisory teachers to monitor and supervise educational programmes to make sure that school principals and teachers are assisted to overcome challenges that hamper progress.

He invited non-governmental organisations to join hands with the Government to educate the nation as Government alone cannot provide all facilities, equipment, textbooks and stationery needed to offer quality education.

Kashuupulwa acknowledged the contribution made by the business community and various institutions which have already joined Government to fund government programmes to improve the education system.

He congratulated the learners who performed exceptionally in last year’s exams. “Learners, we are proud of you because your successes and dedication to school work guarantees a prosperous Namibia anticipated in vision 2030, and hope that you will continue to study harder so that the country can obtain highly qualified engineers, doctors, teachers, police officers, soldiers, pilots, nurses and politicians so as to educate our people to develop Namibia economically and socially on a sustainable basis.”

Kashuupulwa assured the learners that the Government is as committed as ever to invest more money in education and that’s why in the 2008/2009 financial budget education got $4.7 billion.

Despite many challenges, according to Kashuupulwa, the Government tries to build enough schools and provide educational facilities, stationery and equipment to make sure that those Namibians and other residents who want to learn have the opportunity to do so.

“However, last year’s grade 10 examination statistics indicate that many learners are still not taking advantage of this opportunity as 52.7% of them were not promoted to grade 11. As a result, Government was forced to put aside an additional N$340 million for failed grade 10 learners to repeat. This exercise is very costly and learners should be encouraged to take their studies seriously because they may not be able to get this chance again.”

He also congratulated school principals of performing schools and teachers who receive prizes and awards for their extraordinary care for their learners.

Same congratulations went to parents for feeding and clothing their children before they go to school and providing them with equipment that they use at school.

Kashuupulwa encouraged teachers to work harder this year to make up for time that was lost due to flood disruptions.

“Please let us take the flood as a challenge and not as a means to justify poor performance at the end of this year’s examinations, and let us aim high at least to achieve a 60% pass rate in grade 10 and grade 12.”

Banks, insurance companies, agencies, stores, publishers, catering services, parents and individuals have joined Government in providing resources for the annual prize and award-giving ceremony to take place.

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