AS learners attend winter school

18 May 2021 | Youth

Jana Hein



While most learners are out enjoying their holiday, this is not the case for a number of Advanced Subsidiary (AS) learners. In a new initiative, grade 12 learners nationwide have been offered a chance to attend additional winter school.

On 23 April, a letter sent out by the education ministry stated that learners were expected to attend a compulsory winter school programme. After complaints from many in the school community, the programme was later stated to be optional. Set to take place from 3 to 13 May, The Zone asked learners about their experiences in the programme.

Despite circumstances, many learners appeared quite pleased with the results of the winter school. Most said they were quite skeptical of its importance at first. Some even shared that their initial impression of it was that it was “a waste of time”. However, many came to see the benefits of the programme.

Essential

“The practice we are getting is essential,” Jephrey Katjiuanjo, a learner from Centaurus High School, shared.

A great motivator seems to be the dedication of the teachers. Without the typical pressure of needing to keep up with class schedules, educators are able to cover more in-depth content. This contributes to a better understanding of the work and allows for a more relaxed environment. Another factor to consider is the extended lessons. Where most schools use 35 to 45-minute periods, the winter school programme allocates one hour to each lesson.

The social aspect also plays a role in the reception of the programme. Ceciliana Shekunza, a learner at Amazing Kids, said she is grateful for the opportunity to engage with her peers to help with learning. “Now we have a whole wide range of students,” she said. “You get various perspectives about the same concept.”

In addition to learning from peer discussions, learners establish relationships with individuals they might not have met not have met otherwise.

When asked which skills she had learnt, Natasha Plaatjies replied that “before heading into a concept or a topic, analyse. Try to understand where it was derived from and there you can work further and understand the basics”.

Excellently executed

In the Khomas Region, three schools were used as centres for the programme. These are A Shipena Secondary School, Jan Möhr Secondary School and Windhoek High School.

Jan Möhr principal Lukas Hashiti expressed admiration for the ministry’s organisation of the programme.

According to him, the programme was “excellently executed”.

Hashiti is hopeful that teachers can work together to improve the teaching standard in Khomas.

Whether the additional classes will actually prove to be a success will be determined in the final AS exit exam.

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