Teachers blamed for Eluwa results

Teachers at the Eluwa Special School at Ongwediva allegedly spend most of their working hours doing other things outside school.

10 January 2017 | Education

The deteriorating performance of Eluwa Special School at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region has been blamed on teachers and education officers who are not doing their jobs.

This allegation was made by some teachers at the school who wanted to remain anonymous.

They came forward after Namibian Sun published a report on the dismal grade 10 examination results of the country's three schools for visually and hearing-impaired children.

The sources claimed that there was no teaching taking place at Eluwa. Teachers allegedly spend most of their working hours doing other things outside school.

The sources also claimed that school inspectors and subject advisors in the Ompundja education circuit did not visit Eluwa to monitor teaching and spend time with teachers and learners.

Offering classes from pre-primary to grade 10, Eluwa is the only school for visually and hearing-impaired learners in northern Namibia. Last year it had 33 candidates for the grade 10 JSC examination, but only one was promoted to grade 11. Twenty-four of the candidates obtained no points at all.

“Many people were surprised by your [Namibian Sun's] report, but it has been the same over the years. It was only in 2009 or 2010 when we recorded over five learners who made it to grade 11, but other years' performance was just like that.

“This is because we, the teachers of Eluwa, are not committed to performing our duties. We spend most of our classroom time performing non-teaching functions outside classrooms or outside the school,” one source said.

The source said in such conditions one cannot expect learners to perform.

“Eluwa consists of learners with special needs. Therefore, it also requires special teachers who can give special attention to these special learners. Otherwise the future of Eluwa learners will never be bright.”

Another source claimed that during the Oshakati Totem Expo some teachers abandoned their work to conduct private business at the trade show. Others who stayed away claimed that they were attending workshops.

“Imagine a teacher away from school for a month or so, but you expect learners to pass. The school inspector and his team of subject advisors must wake up and start doing their job if they care about Eluwa learners' future,” said another source.

The deputy director for programme quality assurance in the Oshana regional education directorate, Gerhard Ndafenongo, could not be reached for comment.

Earlier, Ndafenongo had told Namibian Sun that Eluwa's performance was a source of concern, but he attributed it to the absence of a school principal.

He said the school had been without a principal for the past two years. A new principal was to start in the new school year, which begins tomorrow. At a regional education symposium held in June, regional education director Hileni Amukana said school principals would sign performance agreements.

Amukana called on all education staff to scrutinise their work and rededicate themselves to their core functions. She said school principals needed 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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