WINDHOEK – The number of learners in pre-primary education in Namibia has grown steadily over the years, and this year it stands at 44 081.
The average annual growth rate for enrolment in pre-primary from 2011 to 2017 was 20.8 percent.
These figures are contained in the latest Fifteenth School Day Report for 2018, which was produced by the Education Management Information System (EMIS) Division within the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
EMIS is the primary national process for timely collection, analysis and reporting of reliable information concerning schools in Namibia.
Education regions collect data twice a year from all state and private schools in Namibia, and publish two reports which enable education planners to develop plans responsive to the context-specific needs of children.
The report indicated the growth demonstrates the firm commitment of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to enhancing both access to pre-primary schooling and the quality of learning in the early phases of schooling.
Equally, the report shows the number of female and male learners and teachers and the number of schools by region in Namibia in 2018.
It revealed the sum total of learners nationally as from February is 755 943.
Further, it shows there are 1881 more girl-child learners than boy-child learners – boys and girls have the same access to education – and there are nearly twice as many female teachers as male teachers in the country.
Ohangwena has been recorded as having the highest number of learners standing at 104 857 while Omusati has the highest number of 285 schools and 4085 teachers.
The ministry of education also observed a continued trend of increase in the numbers of learners by 3 percent, teachers by 0.8 percent and schools by 2 percent from 2017 to 2018 in Namibia.
The report further indicates that there is a big difference in enrolment between pre-primary, where it stands at 5.8 percent, and Grade 1, where it increases to 11.6 percent, before it decline as learners move to higher grades within the schooling system, with only 3.2 percent of the learners enrolled in Grade 12.
“We can also observe a fair gender parity across the grades, with slightly more boys than girls in the junior phase (up until Grade 5) and slightly more girls than boys in the senior primary phase and the secondary phase. The difference, however, is not considered statistically significant,” reads the report.
There is also an indication that the highest proportion of learners nationally is located in the Junior Primary phase (Grades 1-3), with 42 percent, followed by the Senior Primary phase (Grades 4-7) with 24 percent and the Junior Secondary phase (Grades 8-9) with 21 percent.
Only 7 percent of all learners are in the Senior Secondary phase (Grades 10-12), and 6 percent are in pre-primary grades.
The highest proportion of schools nationally (546 or 29 percent) have 101-300 learners each.
It also shows that there are a number of small schools in Namibia: 335 or 18 percent with fewer than 100 learners, while 43 or 5.1 percent of all schools have at least 1300 learners.
The schools constituting the highest proportion nationally (513 or 27 percent) are in the 25-30 learner-teacher ratio (LTR) interval in 2018, compared to 2017 when 29 percent of all schools had a 21-25 ratio.
Furthermore, 35 or 1.85 percent of all schools have more than 40 learners per teacher, a slight improvement compared to 2017, when 2 percent of all schools had an LTR of over 40.
The Fifteenth School Day Survey features the most crucial information about the number of schools, learners and teachers in Namibia as recorded on the 15th school day at the beginning of every year.
The Annual Education Census is a comprehensive survey of education data in state and private schools in Namibia.
The census is usually conducted on the first Tuesday of the last trimester of the school year.