The results of more than 100 000 Grade 10 and 12 full-time and part-time learners could be at stake if the combined 2 782 markers needed for these grades take part in the teachers’ strike due to start next week.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture revealed it needs 1 717 teachers to mark the final Grade 10 examination papers, while for Grade 12 about 812 markers are needed for ordinary level, plus another 253 markers for higher level. Learners already started their final exams last week (September 26).
Teachers who are members of the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) are set to go on strike on October 13 over an 8 percent salary increase after government stuck to its position of a 5 percent increase. Teachers unanimously voted for strike action.
This year about 21 104 Grade 12 full-time learners will sit for ordinary level exams compared to 20 301 candidates last year.
For the Grade 12 higher level, a total number 14 336 full-time candidates will sit for their final exams compared to 13 172 last year.
Meanwhile, for the Grade 12 part-time exams 30 016 candidates will sit for the ordinary level compared to 27 531 who sat last year.
Only 407 learners who are part-time qualify to sit for higher level exams this year, compared to 155 who sat for the same during 2015.
Moreover, 38 277 Grade 10 full-time learners will sit for their final exams this year compared to 37 457 who sat last year. About 11 735 Grade 10 part-time learners will sit for exams this year compared to 11 532 last year.
The examination period for Grade 10s is scheduled from September 26 to November 2, while Grade 12s started on September 26 and will end on November 11.
Although the government over the weekend admitted it will be a “huge logistical endeavour” to maintain learning in schools and run examinations at the same time during the impeding teachers’ strike, Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said the final exams will take place as scheduled.
“There will be no compromise, we will not put the lives of learners at stake. Therefore, I call upon our learners, Grade 10 and 12, to be prepared and work hard,” she encouraged.
The number of subjects for Grade 10 are 34 with 124 components, while for Grade 12 ordinary level it is 35 with 116 components. Grade 12 higher level has 22 subjects with 67 components.
All subjects will be marked at the Windhoek Showgrounds and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The examination centres for Grade 10 total 850 for full-time and part-time candidates, while for Grade 12 it is 298 for full-time and part-time learners.
Hanse-Himarwa also urged all education stakeholders, including parents and guardians, to continue supporting and encouraging learners to study hard, saying children are now entering a challenging time in their lives.
“Education needs team work and this is the time when you are critically needed in supporting the education sector in its quest for better results. I, therefore, urge dear parents to support your children and give them a break from all household chores to study in order for them to do well in the upcoming exams,” she implored.
She said teaching is a honourable task and profession, adding that teachers have the greatest and most lasting impact in the lives of learners.
“Give them the best and they will produce the best results. May I borrow from the Book of Wisdom: ‘Whatever you sow, you shall reap.’ Likewise, the degree to which you equip learners with tools they need for their examinations will determine their performance in the examinations.”
She continued: “The country, parents, learners bestow their trust in you. Namibia is blessed; we have good and great teachers. I commend you for the hard work – the work that you have done and what you are still doing, under the circumstances you are in, for the sake of our learners. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and are not in vain. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.”