Special schools' results raise eyebrows

29 December 2016 | Education

Out of 55 visually and hearing-impaired learners who sat for grade 10 examinations countrywide, only six were promoted to grade 11.

That is despite a decision by the National Examination, Assessment and Certification Board to lower their pass rate to 19 points.

There are only three schools for visually and hearing-impaired children in Namibia, and they all performed poorly. In the Khomas Region there are the School for the Visually Impaired and the School for the Hearing Impaired, and the Oshana Region has the Eluwa Special School.

The School for the Visually Impaired had eight grade 10 candidates, the School for the Hearing Impaired 14, and Eluwa 33.

At the two Windhoek schools five learners were promoted to grade 11. At Eluwa only one learner passed. Twenty-four of these learners obtained zero points.

Oshana is ranked second in the Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) results for a third consecutive year

According to the deputy director for program quality assurance in the Oshana Region, Gerhard Ndafenongo, Eluwa's performance is a source of concern.

“Eluwa's results are a call for concern for our directorate, especially given that our aim is to ensure that not only do children attend school, but also that they complete formal schooling and are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills,” Ndafenongo said.

Ndafenongo attributed the school's poor performance to its lack of a principal. “The school has been without a principal for the past two years, but we have found a new principal set to assume duties in the 2017 school year. In the meantime, to address challenges with respect to curriculum education, the ministry has developed the curriculum framework for inclusive education.”

These results are a disappointment following the regional education symposium that was held in June. Regional education director Hileni Amukana said during the symposium that school principals would sign performance agreements and enhance interaction on performance standards. Amukana also called on all education staff to scrutinise their work and rededicate themselves to their core functions. She said school principals need to take school leadership seriously. They should monitor teaching and focus on academic performance, while inspectors should regularly visit the worst performing schools.

ILENI NANDJATO

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