New education director expects better results

The regional education director touched on a number of issues and interventions to make Erongo the region of excellence.

18 February 2019 | Education

Leandrea Louw - The recently appointed regional director of education, Erenfriede Stephanus, assured regional education practitioners that the new leadership is ready to tackle the various challenges and make Erongo the region of excellence once more.

“We came on board not to cause confusion, but to take the Erongo region to greater heights then it was left by our predecessors. We, however, cannot do this alone. I’m calling on the entire leadership, management and stakeholders in education at all levels to commit themselves to provide quality service in the education sector to all stakeholders.”

She announced that there was 3% drop in the grade 10 pass rate. The 2018 pass rate was 46% compared to the 49% pass rate in 2017. The 2016 and 2015 pass rate was 52%.

“There is a need to analyze the performance outcome of the rest of the grades. For better results in the higher grade we need to focus on our primary levels. As a director, I expect my experts at schools, head of departments, senior education officers at professional development to analyze their subject results and come up with the best strategies to improve results in all other grades.”

Stephanus said there are numerous challenges that need to met one or the other way, as it is the mandate of the ministry to provide quality education.

“We need prior and proper planning at all levels in the region. We need to take prompt decision and act without any delays. We need to adapt where need be, and change our practices and stay focused despite the financial situation. Finances in some circumstances is used as an excuse not to deliver.”

She also highlighted the space constraints faced by schools in the Erongo region.

“Despite the regional awareness campaigns on enrolment held through held last year to explain the process to the parents and guardians, some parents did not apply on time and flocked to schools, circuit and regional offices especially in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. We are challenged with spaces in all the schools, with most of the schools accommodating up to 40 learners in grade one. If we want quality education and a good foundation at primary level, this is not acceptable. After the placement process a postmortem will be done and prior planning will be made for 2020.”

She further mentioned that inspection and investigation reports indicated that education grants allocated to schools are misused.

“Principals are leaving these tasks to school secretaries and teachers. It was also reported that hostels received large amounts of money paid by holidaymakers. The principals are overall accountable for hostels attached to their schools and should take charge.”

Stephanus said in order to make Erongo the region of excellence, interventions such as school visits to junior, senior primary and secondary schools should be undertaken, as well as induction workshops for newly appointed teachers.

She also listed refresher workshops for principals and head of departments, inspectors’ trimester meetings with principals and head of departments, programmes to improve reading at schools, a functioning cluster system, and red carpet meetings where poor performing schools are held accountable as planned interventions.

The region saw one block of four classrooms built at Flamingo Junior Secondary School and one block of four classrooms at Kamwandi SS. Namport Primary School, which is a new school, boasts three blocks of four classrooms, an office block and two ablution blocks. An ablution block was also built at Seaside Primary School.

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