Unam says no to grade 11s
08 February 2021 | Education
John Haufiku; Acting communications and marketing director of Unam; “The whole objective of this review was to improve the quality of students’ basic education…”
The University of Namibia (Unam) is reluctant to admit learners exiting school at grade 11 through the new Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary level (NSSCO) curriculum, which was implemented last year.
Speaking about the re-opening of institutions of higher learning at the Covid-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek on Friday, Unam’s acting communications and marketing director John Haufiku said it is unlikely that the candidates who exited school in grade 11 will be admitted at the university this year as they received over 21 000 applications for 2021.
He said although the NSSCO grade 11 candidates are eligible to apply to university, when it comes to admission, Unam leans more towards the grade 12 candidates who are the majority. “If we don’t take that principle decision, where do the grade 12 learners go because these are huge numbers?”
He added that Unam only has space for 5 000 to 7 000 new students. “The whole objective of this review was to improve the quality of students’ basic education and that are coming to university. Unam would like to see grade 11 learners going through to their Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level so that we see how they perform at the end of this year. We will then be able to make informed decisions about how we are going to move from 2022 and beyond,” Haufiku said.
He said the decision made by the university does not mean that they don’t recognize the NSSCO (grade 11) certificate, but that it is just something that they are going to investigate thoroughly.
NUST says yes
Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning Director at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Delvaline Mӧwes, said that as indicated in the NUST guide for prospective students, grade 11 candidates may apply for admission. “However, every prospective student needs to keep in mind that they need to meet minimum requirements for a specific programme and that it does not guarantee admission as final selections will be conducted.”
The International University of Management (IUM) welcomed the grade 11 candidates more warmly, with IUM Registrar Aquilinus Nashilundo saying that the NSSCO certificate awarded to grade 11 learners is on the exact same level as that of the grade 12 candidates, adding that on this basis they have no reason to reject the grade 11 candidates.