Our uninspiring education system

14 January 2019 | Columns

Our education system is no longer inspiring much-needed hope, judging by the recently released grade 12 ordinary level examination results. Although the education ministry last week announced a very slight improvement in the grade 12 ordinary level results of 2018, the matric performance over the year has remained stagnant, and this should be a cause for concern. Only 40.4% of last year’s full-time grade 12 ordinary level candidates have qualified for university admission, which is still way below the target set by the education ministry. Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said there was a slight increase in the ordinary level learners qualifying for university admission - from 39.3% in 2017 to 40.4% in 2018. A good education system is a great asset to any country, because it produces a qualified, skilled and disciplined workforce to develop a nation. Most importantly, a good and efficient education system shows that the country cares about the most vulnerable people in society - its children - and indeed also about our future as a whole. The grim truth is that we have not turned education into an asset where all learners are able to compete on an equal footing. Yes, it is true that kids from rich backgrounds tend to go to private schools that are well-funded, even by corporate Namibia. At these schools, you find top-notch facilities and dedicated and motivated teachers that help them succeed. However, the situation is different at many state schools, especially those in rural Namibia, where shoddy facilities and lack of guidance is the order of the day. A good education is the foundation of every qualified professional in this country and it is high time that considerable efforts are made to ensure that we all adopt a number of programmes to help address such learning weaknesses, and this includes ensuring that poorly structured schools get good teachers. Developing an environment that is conducive to learning is essential if we are really serious about having an education system that we all can be proud of.

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