The era of change

11 February 2020 | Education

Elizabeth Joseph, Sharleen Mofila and Amber

The ministry of education’s idea of changing the Namibian school’s syllabus left a lot of students and teachers with questions about the necessity of the changes. Many ask the question “Why, how, who, when” and fear is everywhere. There are learners who stress about whether or not they will be able to cope with the changes made. Many seniors are concerned over whether or not they will pass and what they would do after school.

The seniors of WHS feel that even though the new changes made offer many opportunities and possibilities, they do believe the changes have been too sudden, without offering the learners the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new syllabus.

After the ministry of education made an announcement that upon the completion of their Grade 10, learners doing part-time will not be eligible to return to mainstream schooling for Grade 11 under the new senior secondary curriculum which will also be put in place this year, there has been a lot of confusion.

“Any learner who completed part-time JSC Grade 10 in 2019 will not be admitted to return to school as a full-time enrolled leaner for Grade 11 in 2020.

More so, such learners will not be allowed to change into the revised senior secondary curriculum offered full-time at schools,” a circular from executive director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp stated.

She also announced that the current Grade 12 National Senior Secondary Certificate would be phased out by the end of 2021.

The Postscript

A circular sent around aims to shed light on some of the options that are available for leaners who were unsuccessful in re-entering into conventional schooling or Grade 11.

So what are your options?

If you find yourself in this position, here are some options courtesy of the ministry of education.

Option 1

Do what you do, in the curriculum you’re in, to the best of your ability. What this means is, that if you’re in the current curriculum the ministry advises you to complete your education in this curriculum, which is the one you started with.

“This will provide them with a more competitive advantage as they will stand a better chance to complete their secondary qualification with their current knowledge base, as opposed to starting with a new curriculum that would require leaners to master new content to which they have not previously been exposed to,” the circular orates.

Option 2

This option allows learners to return to the mainstream full-time schooling if they have been a part of the 2019 cohort of candidates who sat for the Grade 10 part-time JSC examination. They will then be able to return to Grade 10 in 2020, as the first year of the Secondary Phase.

Although this seems to be a light at the end of a seemingly dark tunnel for both parents and candidates alike, the ministry is afraid that the second option might pose a challenge for other full-time students as well as for the ministry.

“Candidates who were unsuccessful in full-time studies in 2018 could be 3 years senior to those learners who are currently Grade 10 in 2020.” The circular reads.

“Secondly, due to the removal of forced exit points more learners are progressing and this places some considerable strain on the already limited resources.”

What do the students say

The Blou Kudu spoke to some of the learners of WHS to get some perspective on what they think about the changes made.

The biggest obstacles that I have faced during the syllabus change was definitely time management and being able to cope with teaching myself even better.

One of my strategies to adapt to the syllabus is to spend more time attending to my schoolwork and to walk the extra mile during classes.

A lot of Namibian schools who struggle academically will not be able to adapt to this new system

I really believe the government should have started with this new change at a n earlier grade to make the transition easier.

I really believe this will make more students drop out of school because they now have the choice to do so. They might simply choose to leave school, rather than face the academic challenges.

I believe the new syllabus offers us more opportunities, but most students won’t be able to cope with the added stress and work. I believe the learners should have been introduced to the change at an earlier stage.

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