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Principals to focus on performance of grades 8 and 9

PRINCIPALS of secondary schools in the ||Kharas region have resolved to strengthen learning and teaching of grade 8 and 9 pupils to improve the academic results at grade 11 and 12 levels.

This was said during a school principals’ gathering at Karasburg recently which reviewed and examined the impact of teaching on the region’s examination results.

The meeting also provided a platform for the school principals to analyse the grade 11 and 12 class of 2022’s examination results, as well as those of grades 1 to 10.

Principal of Garibams Secondary School Darta Alughodi said they reviewed the recurring weak performance of Grade 11 and Grade 12 pupils, including those doing Advanced Subsidiary level.

“We are starting to revisit the basics with the Grade 8s and looking at uniformity, so that whatever we do with the Grade 8s, we do with grades 11 and 12 because we tend to focus so much on grades 11 and 12 teaching and learning that we neglect grades 8 and 9, only to realise the kids we neglected in grades 8 and 9 are now the ones struggling in grades 11 and 12,” said Alughodi.

Education inspector for the Kalahari circuit Ryan Assegaai said plans are underway to introduce a regional annual examination for students from grades 4 to 10 in August, and a school for Grade 11 and AS students.

“These examinations will be set by different sectors in August, so we can see that teachers are completing the syllabus and so that we can have quality papers to give to our children for studying purposes,” said Assegaai.

In an interview with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation on the sidelines of the gathering, the chairperson of the ||Kharas Education Forum, Katrina Elizabeth /Goagoses, urged churches to make space available to pupils in the evenings for study purposes.

The forum’s main aim is to encourage parental involvement in schools, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning.

“Most pupils come from poor backgrounds and struggle with finding conducive places to study, while others do not have access to electricity. Therefore, churches must open up their premises for studies in the evening for pupils,” said /Goagoses.

During the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary examinations for grades 11 and 12, the region performed poorly.

||Kharas education director Johannes ||Hoëseb said the two years of Covid-19 affected the learning and teaching of pupils adversely, especially those in grades 8 and 9 during 2020 and 2021, as there was hardly any teaching and not all pupils had access to online platforms.

||Hoëseb said it was best to analyse the results and come up with strategies to improve performance instead of apportioning blame to either the community, pupils, teachers or the entire education system.

“I am convinced that all of us gathered here are feeling sad about it and are equally concerned about this undesirable situation. My take, however, is that we should rather not join the bandwagon of self-exoneration and resort to apportioning blame on someone else, or even the education system.”

Karasburg East constituency councillor Anseline Beukes thanked the teachers for their commitment and encouraged them to implement the strategies they would design.

“Teaching requires passion and joy, we know passion is contagious, energy is contagious, and ambition is contagious. We are grateful for the positive motivation you as teachers bring to each school year,” said Beukes.

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