ONGWEDIVA – Examinations for the Grade 12 National Secondary Certificate at Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School in Ongwediva were on Tuesday briefly delayed, because some of the female candidates had hair extensions and were required to remove them before writing their paper.
According to some learners who wished to remain anonymous, those learners who wrote the commerce paper and who had hair extensions were allowed to proceed with the examination and were not asked to remove their hair extensions. The learners who wrote the agriculture paper allege that when they wrote their first paper on Tuesday they were also not requested to remove their hair extensions, but were caught by surprise when they were denied entrance to the examination locale when they showed up to write the agriculture paper.
One of the learners who claimed to have removed half of the extensions was informed after the examination that her paper would not be sent to Windhoek for marking if she fails to remove the remaining hair extensions. The learners who admitted they are aware of the policy of the school, which forbids wearing hair extensions, claimed that they put in the hair extensions because they have seen other learners writing their examination papers with their hair extensions on and school authorities have been silent over the matter the whole time. The learners further claim that it is not stated anywhere in the examination rules that they should not put on hair extensions.
The principal of the school Sakaria Eelu said when he arrived at the examination locale he found one of the teachers almost in tears, because the learners were using aggressive language towards her. He denied allegations that the examinations were delayed by an hour, and said the learners were only delayed for 15 minutes to allow them to remove the hair extensions. Eelu however, confirmed that when he arrived at the scene he instructed the teachers to allow the learners into the examination locale, which stabilised the situation immediately.
Eelu added that the learners are aware of the school rule and what it says about hair extensions. He further said the concerned learners were cautioned right from the start to remove their hair extensions, but they did not heed the warning. The principal cautioned learners to do what is expected of them on the school premises and to be model students rather than to engage in counterproductive arguments with teachers.