TUN slams directive prohibiting successful JSC learners from formal school

TUN slams directive prohibiting successful JSC learners from formal school
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The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has slammed a recent directive by the education ministry which prohibits successful part-time Junior Secondary (JCS), candidates (Grade 10) from continuing their Grade 11 and 12 through the formal schooling system.
The directive, issued on 2 January 2020, by the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture (MoEAC) Executive Director Sanet Steenkamp said learners who were successful in improving their JSC results in 2019 will not be able to return to full-time schooling for Grade 11 as they are still a part of the old curriculum which has been faced out.
Such learners, she said, must continue with their part-time studies and complete the Grade 12 on the old curriculum over the next years before it completely phases out.
TUN Secretary General Mahongora Kavihuha in an interview with NAMPA on Wednesday said the MoEAC has given no scientific evidence as to why learners should not go back to formal schooling to complete Grade 11 and 12, describing the directive as based on a hypothetical basis.
“The directive is compromising the academic freedom of learners and the system should be developed in a way that every Namibian child can enter at whatever level to continue with formal education,” he lashed.
He added that there are many unemployed teachers in the country and the ministry should, therefore, establish centres that will allow these learners to be taught on a fulltime basis on the old curriculum.
On his part, Namibia National Student Organisation (NANSO) president Simon Taapopi suggested that the ministry reintegrates the learners back either into the new system as the syllabuses do not exceedingly differ and identify schools countrywide that can offer the old curriculum to allow the learners to continue with Grade 11 and 12.
“We cannot allow the future of these learners to be in limbo, it is also extra costs for these learners and there is a risk of having a high failure rate as they are now attending classes on a part-time basis,” he said.
The ministry embarked on a curriculum review as recommended at the 2011 Education conference which has been implemented since 2015 in three phases of junior primary; senior primary and junior secondary Grade 8 and 9.
Thus, 2018 was the last year that JSC was offered at schools for full-time candidates and 2019 was the first year that the Grade 10 revised curriculum was taught in schools.