The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is gravely concerned that Grade 10 and 12 certificates issued to learners after each examination are piling up, as owners have not collected them at the examination centres where they sat for exams.
The Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment (DNEA) has in its possession a total of 250 991 Grade 10 and 12 certificates that were not collected at different examination centres for the past few years countrywide.
Many learners, especially those who did not excel in Grade 10 or 12, normally do not bother to collect their certificates as they feel it serves no purpose.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture spokesperson Johanna Absalom said employers and institutions of higher learning are advised to demand original certificates from learners whenever they are needed.
“The learners are always informed through a media statement in April every year that the certificates are available for collection at the examination centre where they have sat for the examination. Certificates which are not collected within six months of receipt at the examination centre are always returned to the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment,” she explained.
Further, she noted learners and the public are urged to collect their certificates from the DNEA between 08h00 and 16h30 on Mondays to Fridays.
“Learners who have not collected their certificates for the past years and were not able to do so due to distance can still give permission to a friend or relative residing in Windhoek to collect the certificate, on provision of his or her identity document before signing for the certificate,” she urged learners.
Absalom said a certificate is a very important document which the learner has worked for through sweat and tears during the examination period, thus it should not be gathering dust in the strongroom of the DNEA.
“It is much better to have your certificate stored safely, than to run around when you apply for a job or for admission to a tertiary institution. It will be highly appreciated if these valuable documents could be collected as soon as possible to create some space in the strongrooms,” she further reminded learners.
The ministry is mandated under the Education Act, 2001 (Act No. 16 of 2001) to issue a certificate or diploma to learners who have satisfied the minimum requirements and minimum standards as prescribed by the National Examination, Assessment and Certification Board in respect of such course.
Equally, the ministry has noted with great concern the mushrooming of unregistered private schools in the country.
Over the years the government has noted with great concern that there are several people setting up private schools without following the correct procedures as stipulated in the Education Act, 2001 (Act No. 16 of 2001).
Such unregistered schools are advertised in the print media and also on social networks, which makes it difficult for parents and learners to know if they are accredited and registered with government.
Often parents are unaware when registering their children that these private schools are unregistered and their children end up with unrecognized qualifications.
Absalom said the owner of a private school must obtain Form 4, which is the application form for registration of a private school, from the regional offices.
Section 41(1) of the Education Act No. 16 of 2001 clearly stipulates that – “A person has the right to establish and maintain a private school at such person’s own expense, but is required to register such school in terms of section 41 before education is provided to any person at the school.”
She said it is a requirement as per section 42 (1) of the Education Act No. 16 of 2001 that an application for registration of a private school must be made to the minister in the prescribed form.
The Act also says the regional director on receipt of the application form must appoint an inspection team to visit and inspect the school and verify the correctness of the information provided on Form 4, and make a final recommendation before submission to the National Examination, Assessment and Certification Board (NEACB) which meets three times a year.
Absolom urged regional directors to ensure application forms are submitted to the board before the March, July and October meetings for evaluation and if possible to make a recommendation to the minister for the registration of a private school.
The applicant is urged to consult the National Curriculum for Basic Education to ensure correct educational phases and subjects are applied for, where the applicant will be informed through the regional office on the outcome of the application.