Nanso blames learners for high failure rate

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Windhoek – Taking into account the Grade 12 Ordinary Level results in which only over 7 000 candidates qualified for university admission for 2017, the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has blamed learners for lack of dedication and commitment towards their studies.

Normally the blame is shifted onto teachers, lack of teaching and learning materials among other issues when Grade 10 and 12 learners perform poorly.

The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa a week ago announced only 7 772 (36.8 percent) of students out of 21 104 full-time students who sat for Grade 12 Ordinary Level in 2016 qualified for admission to tertiary institutions.

These 7 772 candidates scored a minimum of 25 points with a minimum D symbol in English or a score of four on higher level.

Nanso secretary of education and research, Ashwell Forbes, yesterday said when they look at where students went wrong that only 7 772 qualified for university, one needs to look at it in three different aspects, namely students, teachers and the community.

“As a student body we are required to be honest even to our members. Many students were simply not prepared, started preparations too late and were not serious about their own future,” he reacted.

He said Nanso understands there are some challenges that make studying an uphill battle, which could lead to students performing poorly.

However, he maintained that when one looks at how some rural schools outperformed some urban schools that have all the resources and materials for good performance, it shows students are not serious about their future.

“We urge all our members that 2017 should to be a year of preparations. Let it be a year of studying and commitment. If you invest this year, your future itself will thank you for it.”

Nanso is of the view that many people, when performances are bad, are quick to blame teachers, but saying their hard work and commitment to the profession can never be questioned.

“However, we cannot deny that the justified strike of the teachers had an impact on the exams, for example the day mathematics was written (one of the subjects failed the most) learners came prepared and were just informed it’s postponed till further notice. Actions such as this had a negative impact on the preparations for students in their final exams,” he charged.

Nanso is asking teachers to continue their hard work and also support learners academically and psychologically for their exams as early preparations are the only way to reach a 100 percent pass rate.

According to him, community is one of the biggest players in the life of a student. Therefore, Nanso is seeking the assistance of community members to inform the police of shebeens and nightclubs in neighbourhoods that cause noise pollution during hours when learners are supposed to prepare for school. He said such cases should not only be reported during exam times, but throughout the year as preparations should already start by February.

“We ask shebeen owners not to sell any sort of alcohol to any person under the age of 18. We also ask the assistance of the police to strengthen the operations among shebeens as alcohol and noise pollution are the greatest contributors to lack of concentration in schools,” Forbes pleaded.

Nanso furthermore urged parents and guardians to assist learners with their schoolwork and preparations for the year.

Forbes said learners need that support, adding “a happy child is a focused child; we all need to play our roles to make that 100 percent pass rate a reality.”

Based on performance in the 2016 Ordinary Level Grade 12 candidates, the minister announced a week ago that 7 772 (36.8 percent) students qualify for admission to tertiary institutions compared to 6 056 (29.8 percent) learners in 2015, excluding part-time candidates.

However, she was quick to say if an E symbol in English is taken into account 12 004 (56.9 percent) would qualify for university admission.

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