Windhoek-With the national examination marking officially having kicked off the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, yesterday said that although some teachers have been marking for a number of years now, their own schools still do not perform to expected standards.
“You should use the marking experience and knowledge gained to feed back into your teaching – and work with other teachers in your schools who could not get a chance to come for the national examination marking,” she said when officially starting the national examination marking process.
She said the knowledge gained through marking is valuable, considering that the ministry is in the process of a major curriculum review.
She said this review brings in great changes in the examination system.
The phasing out of the Grade 10 national examination and introduction of the Grade 9 semi-national examination in 2018, are some of the changes to the examination system.
The minister noted the semi-national examination at Grade 9 would be marked at school level.
“You are therefore challenged and also expected to mark these examinations at the same standards using the marking strategies you have learnt here. Hence the importance of your being here to get exposure and gain experience in standardized marking.”
She said she was well aware of the conditions teachers are working in during this time, adding that the long working hours during which they are required to concentrate throughout would be a challenge to anyone.
She therefore committed herself to working with them side by side in an attempt to provide a reasonable, conducive marking environment to facilitate the smooth running of the marking programme, despite the currently adverse circumstances.
Over the years, teachers have often complained the ministry never paid them on time for marking exam scripts.
In this regard, Hanse-Himarwa said the Ministry of Finance no longer prints cheques as it used to do.
Therefore, she said, arrangements have already been made for teachers’ subsistence and travel (S&T) money to be paid directly into their bank accounts.
This, she says, can only be done on verification of each marker’s arrival and attendance at the marking venue.
Consequently, she added, their cooperation and prompt signing of the attendance register will assist in ensuring their money is paid in good time.
She warned those who might contemplate to abscond after receiving the daily S&T allowance to take note that for the days he or she has absconded, deductions will be made from their monthly salary.
She applauded the markers for sacrificing their time for the sake of the Namibian child and urged them to remain focused on their task.
“Take some breaks to re-energize yourself and make sure you drink a lot of fluids, especially water, to avoid dehydration and fatigue. Ensure you maximize your sleep to wake up refreshed for the next day’s work.”
She expressed her appreciation and recognition to the entire staff members of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, in particular the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment, for the outstanding work they do and for their commitment and hard work throughout the year.
“Your leadership, knowledge, dedication and sacrifice are valued and highly appreciated and are the cornerstones of success to this exercise. However, your willingness in accepting the job should be more than a mere ‘yes’. It should be coupled with dedication and a drive to work hard to achieve a common goal in a big group like this one.”
She said every single script that they as a marker handle represents a learner – and the outcomes thereof will have an impact on his or her future. Hence her plea to all of them to apply their minds fully to the task at hand and be consistent and accurate in their marking and recording of marks.