Ongwediva – The dreams of thousands of young people hoping to repeat Grade 12 this year will be dashed, because Namcol is unable to register all the people that failed to obtain the necessary grades for entry to tertiary institutions.
Between the years 2000 and 2016 the number of Grade 12 enrollees at Namcol swelled from 20,018 to 41,800 people. The numbers are expected to increase, given the lackluster academic performance last year.
Panic among prospective Grade 12 repeaters is visible at various Namcol centres where a number of people spent Wednesday night in hope of securing space in Namibia’s most sought-after institution of distance and open learning.
At Ongwediva Namcol Centre a number of people slept at the Namcol premises, while others started queuing from as early as 03h00 to be first in the queue.
Some of the prospective enrollees unfortunately fell prey to criminals in the night, who robbed them of their registration money and mobile phones, while squatting outside Namcol premises in Ongwediva.
Namcol’s regional director for the northern regions, Paavo Pea, confirmed that some students was indeed robbed and the police had to be called to Ongwediva Namcol Centre to secure order as the place was crowded.
“We had to write down the names of all the people and divide them into groups of 100 people per group. We assigned each group a date, because we can only attend to 100 people a day.
“We will not attend to the people that are not in the list until we are done with the list. But there is also no guarantee that everyone who is on the list will indeed get placement.
Admission will depend on the availability of material,” said Tweya.
Director of Namcol Harold Murangi said they are unable to respond to the demand as the institution is faced with the need to match the availability of printed study materials with the number of people in search of placement at Namcol.
Murangi said the material printed is sometimes more or less than the number of prospective enrollees. This turns into either a loss to the institution, or a disadvantage to prospective students who lose out on an opportunity to repeat Grade 10 or 12.
This year the situation is worsened by the large number of people that failed Grade 12 in formal schools. In addition, last year Namcol managed to produce only a small group that met tertiary requirements.
People that failed to perform well at private institutions also tend to turn to Namcol if they fail on their first attempt.
A Namcol official also told New Era that some people simply register with Namcol to benefit from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) benefits, that are given to schoolgoing offspring of deceased government employees.
Last year alone 9,356 people registered for Grade 12 at Namcol, but 4,160 did not turn up for exams.