Pupil repeats grade five times

A northern school principal says he has refused to promote a 21-year-old pupil because he spends his times in bars instead of studying.

21 April 2017 | Education

The directorate of education in the Oshana Region has indicated that it will investigate a northern school principal for refusing to promote a learner who has spent five years repeating the same grade.

Nangolo Senior Secondary School principal Wilbard Nailenge has confirmed to Namibian Sun that he refused to promote a 21-year-old pupil, Simon Metumo, arguing that the pupil spent most of his time at bars. Metumo has spent five years in grade 9 at the school, while he also repeated grade eight twice.

However, Oshana deputy education director Gerhard Ndafenongo says it is against the government policy for a learner to repeat a grade more than once.

The automatic promotion policy has been a contentious one over the years and various schools have adopted internal policies on promoting learners who fail.

At some schools, the inspector of education promotes learners depending on the number of times they have repeated a certain grade.

Metumo told Namibian Sun that he joined the school in 2011, adding that he had been struggling with mathematics.

“For all those years I am only failing mathematics. With other subjects I am doing very well, but the school does not want me to go to grade ten. All I want is to at least go into grade ten and obtain a certificate,” Metumo said.

Nailenge, however, believes that Metumo is not ready to be promoted to the next grade, alleging that he spends most of his time gallivanting around shebeens instead of studying.

“I am from Ondangwa and I know Metumo and his parents. This boy is not serious with his schoolwork. At night I see him at bars and that is why he is not performing at school. I do not want him to go to grade ten and score low points and that is why he has to repeat,” Nailenge said.

Metumo's mother, Hambeleleni Paavo, says she has approached the school principal several times to complain, but was told the he is not ready.

“Some of the children he started school with have already graduated from university, while he is still struggling with grade nine. This has affected him mentally and has resorted to not spending time at home anymore,” she said.

Nailenge confirmed that Metumo's mother had approached him.

“There is nothing else I can do. I care for these children and that is why I do not want him to get destroyed by grade ten,” he said.

The inspector for Oluno Circuit, Levi Vries, and regional education director Hileni Amukana could not be reached for comment this week.

Ndafenongo, who said he was outside the region, promised to look into the matter upon his return.

“If that is true it is done against the education policy and I will follow it up with the inspector once I return to the region,” Ndafenongo said.


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