Ongwediva-The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for education, Hofni Iipinge, has put the blame for the failure of the thousands of learners, who did not make it to Grade 11 or tertiary institutions, squarely on the shoulders of parents.
“Some parents do not attend parents’ meetings or provide support to their children or teachers at school. Most parents do not even know what grade their learners are in, much less about their (academic) performance,” lamented Iipinge.
Iipinge said parents equally have a hand in the learners’ ill-behaviour, saying parents send learners to school with prohibited gadgets and unapproved dress code or appearance.
“Most of these problems encountered at school stem from home and this is the challenge we need to address publicly,” said Iipinge.
For the 2016 academic year, 54.4 percent full-time learners in Grade 10 qualified to progress to Grade 11, while only 39.3 percent of learners who sat for the Grade 12 examination qualified for tertiary education.
The thousands who did not secure a seat at tertiary institutions scored below the C requirement in English.
Activist Job Amupanda took to social media to call for a remark of English scripts.
But Iipinge said while remarking has its pros and cons, he proposes that English scripts be marked leniently in future.
“I know markers are very strict, but through the examination body we can see how best the marking criteria can be changed, so that we cannot strictly mark our learners’ English scripts in order to allow our learners to proceed to university as long as they reach the admission requirements,” said Iipinge.
In the same vein, Iipinge also called for the implementation of a resolution taken at the 2012 SPYL congress advocating for an E symbol as the pre-requisite for admission at tertiary level.
He said learners who scored good points in other subjects cannot continue to be held back because they do not meet the C requirement in English.
On a different note, the education secretary also calls on the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to visit schools and monitor learners receiving social grants.
According to Iipinge, many learners receiving the grant continue to live in abject poverty as their grants do not benefit them