Windhoek-First Lady Monica Geingos has raised her concerns regarding the direction in which the education sector is going, stating that due to multiple hindrances a lot of learners that enter Grade 8 never make it to Grade 12.
While welcoming the first Grade 8 cohort at Windhoek Gymnasium who would be benefiting from the Talented Individual Programme (TIP), on Friday, Geingos shared her concerns, stating that if only 19 000 children made it to Grade 12 out of 52 000 that entered Grade 8 in 2012, then something somewhere is not right in the system.
The 2016 Grade 12 results, even with a slight improvement, show that out of 19 392 full-time candidates who sat for the Grade 12 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Ordinary Level, only 36 percent qualified for admission to tertiary institutions.
“Out of that 36 percent, take out those that cannot afford tertiary education, then remove those that could not proceed because of teenage pregnancies, what is left is alarming,” said Geingos.
“We cannot expect children to yield different results if we are not prepared to give them the same opportunities that we give our own children,” said Geingos.
Through the TIP programme, Geingos will not only be focusing on the 25 pupils who were selected from all the 14 regions of the country but she vowed to dedicate her energy and resources to the Grade 8 class of 2017 nationwide to ensure that all pupils make it to Grade 12 and eventually to tertiary institutions.
The TIP programme, which was launched last year, will support learners from low-income households who have performed exceptionally well and show high academic potential. So far 14 girls and 11 boys have been enrolled at Windhoek High School and Windhoek Gymnasium School, where they will be fully sponsored for tuition, accommodation, school uniforms and extra-mural activities.
The programme will work towards building a bridge between formal and informal economies. “We cannot dwell on where our children are coming from but rather where we know they are going.”
Chante Moses, one of the first beneficiaries of the TIP programme, thanked the first lady for seeing light and immense potential in her when no one did and vowed to take full advantage of the golden opportunity.