Awaseb spits fire
09 February 2018 | Education
The Regional Director of Education, John Awaseb, expressed his disappointment with the grade 10 and 12 results for 2017 during his annual address in Swakopmund.
Only 49% of the grade 10’s in the Erongo region passed last year compared to 52% in 2016.
“We are below the national average! We can already tell our grade 10 learners now, that only half of them will pass at the end of this school year. That is the standard we have set and this needs to change. We expected better results and were shocked by the performances of our schools after all the effort from stakeholders. The results are unacceptable because we are qualified to do better.”
Awaseb said the region has well-qualified teachers, well-resourced schools as well as communities who are involved with schools through donations and the support of the regional office.
“Despite all this, the input does not match the outcome. We need to take drastic steps to halt this and must do things differently.”
Erongo dropped one position (from eighth in 2016) in the rankings and was ranked ninth in the Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC). In the Namibia Senior Secondary School Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO), Erongo dropped from the first position it occupied in 2016 to third in 2017. In the Namibia Senior Secondary School Certificate Higher Level (NSSCH), Erongo also dropped two spots, from second in 2016 to fourth in 2017.
The director reprimanded teachers, saying that their behaviour determines their effectiveness in classrooms and in turn, the impact they have on student achievement.
“Teachers nowadays have this idea that teaching is just a job. They arrive at school late, or are absent from school and class on a regular basis, have numerous classroom discipline problems and focus on paperwork instead of lesson planning. How are we going to implement the new curriculum with so many challenges if we continue like this? The time is now that everyone should account for their actions. This is the year of reckoning. Enough is enough!”
He also mentioned that finding places for learners in schools remains a challenge.
“We noted that the migration of families to coastal areas creates a situation where learners number more than the spaces available. Parents also apply and accept placement in more than one school, thus creating the impression that there are still many unplaced learners. These parents do not inform the schools whether they have accepted the placement or not and this learner remains on the school list preventing the place being offered to other learners.”
The Erongo region has more than 43 000 registered learners. This year, 1 904 pre-primary learners were registered along with 4 694 grade 1s, 3 593 grade 8s, 1 805 grade 10s – 279 of whom are repeaters – and 1 567 grade 11 learners.
Erongo governor Cleophas Mutijvikua told teachers to take ownership of their schools and the learning environment.
“Go the extra mile. Find ways to keep our schools and the surrounding area clean. We need to preserve our schools for future generations. Teachers need to have the desire to succeed and a fear of failure.”
He assured teachers, principals and education officers in attendance that ‘government is not bankrupt’.
“We need to use our resources where it is necessary. This is a new mind-set that we need to adopt. Even schools need to do more with less. For years we were spoiled. We had in abundance. Our resources are now limited."