National school ranking system to be abolished

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Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop – Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says her ministry hopes to find a new system and move away from ranking regions from top to bottom, as of this year.

The minister said this during a community meeting at Keetmanshoop on Friday, in response to a member of the public who was concerned that the system of ranking regions based on their performance is discriminatory and biased and does not bear a true reflection of the performance of the respective regions.

“I feel it’s very discriminating and of no relevance and my suggestion is that the ministry do away with this system, as it has no meaning nor relevance,” the audience member said.

The concerned resident further argued that the ranking of private and public schools is also discriminatory and should be done away with, saying whether learners go to public or private schools, they take the same final exams and thus rating them separately is not sensible.

Hanse-Himarwa agreed and expressed a similar view. She indicated that she has already instructed her team to work on something new to replace the old ranking system.
She was also of the view that the national ranking system does not give a true picture of the performance of schools in the various regions and that a new system should be established.

“I agree with you on the national rankings. I have already instructed my people that we will do away with that system and as of this year we will not have such a ranking, but something else… I say to hell with this type of ranking,” she charged.

//Karas director of education |Awebahe ||Hoeseb, who says he has never been a fan of the national ranking system, also said the rankings do not offer a true reflection of the performance of the regions, saying no matter their performance, one region is bound to be first and another last.

“If you have 14 regions, no matter how you improve your performance, one will be number one and one will be number 14,” he said.

The minister, who was in the //Karas Region for her parent-community engagement forum, also spoke to and interacted with parents on various issues pertaining to education and expressed particular concern about the role of parents in educating the Namibian child, as she pointed out that a school without the involvement of parents or guardians will not yield good results.

“A school that doesn’t have the support of the parents can forget about success,” she said.
Hanse-Himarwa, in an attempt to motivate parents to do more to ensure their children

are educated, took a walk down memory lane, recalling how – despite coming from a poor household – she worked hard to get where she is today, saying she is now able to take care of her family and live comfortably and own not just one, but several houses.

She was quick to add that sharing her life story should not be seen as showing off, but only as proof that despite poverty and hardship, people can rise above their circumstances and overcome poverty, as she did.

“I’m just saying this, because sometimes when you speak people think you fell from the sky with everything you have, but I know what it means not to have food at home, to go to school barefoot, but I worked hard and look at me today.”

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