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School fights de-registration

2024-02-21  Maria Sheya

School fights de-registration

A private school at risk of being deregistered by the education ministry on allegations of malpractice, is fighting tooth and nail to keep its learners.

Savo Nuts Private School, based in Oshikango, approached the Windhoek High Court on an urgent basis after the education ministry indicated its intention to find placement for its grades 11 and 12 learners, as it conducts investigations into the alleged malpractice at the school during the 2023 NSSCO examinations.

The ministry also indicated in a letter dated 25 January its intention to de-register the school as an examination centre for NSSCO and NSSSCAS grades 11 and 12 as of 1 March. Now, the school wants the court to interdict the education ministry from placing any of its grades 11 and 12 learners at any other school, pending the dispute concerning the intention to de-register it is resolved.

It also wants the court to direct the ministry and the National Examination, Assessment and Certification Board to uplift the bar against it to register candidates for full-time and part-time examinations in both grades 11 and 12 for the 2024 academic year on the education ministry’s online registration platform.

Furthermore, the court must order the ministry and the National Examination, Assessment and Certification Board to provide the school with the investigation report. Lastly, the school wants the education ministry alongside the board to release all the outstanding results of the learners who sat for the October/November 2023 examinations. The school had 46 learners who sat for the exams, and the examination results have been withheld for the learners.



On Monday, the school’s lawyer Immanuel Tomas made submissions before Judge Kobus Miller, citing that when the ministry was done with its investigations into the alleged malpractice, they were not given a report detailing the findings.

He said the school was also not given an opportunity to be heard before the ministry made a recommendation for the school to be de-registered.

“The mere fact that the applicant (school) has been removed from the list of registered schools to register candidates for the 2024 academic year while a final decision has not been made to de-register it, clearly (infringes) its freedom to trade, establish and maintain a private school,” said Tomas.

He argued that the school will suffer irreparable harm by losing income, having candidates unregistered, and will suffer a blow to its reputation as a business, without being found guilty of any malpractice.

Tomas said the school had to approach the court even before the education ministry made the final decision because by that time it does, the due date would have passed to register first-time, prospective grades 11 and 12 learners on the ministry’s portal. 

It was thus going to leave them without an examination centre and destitute on the streets, despite having enrolled and paid for their registration. However, the ministry’s lawyer Kobby Muyumbano submitted that the school was not supposed to approach the High Court without exhausting the education ministry’s internal processes. 

He said there is nothing for the court to decide on when the ministry has not yet made a final decision. Thus, the move by the school to institute court proceedings is interfering with the internal processes of the ministry. 

On the release of the investigation report, he said the ministry is still waiting on the response from the office of the Attorney General if they can release it, as demanded by the school. In court documents, deputy executive director for the education ministry Edda Bohn said following the investigations by the Malpractice Committee, it was recommended that the school must make presentations to the ministry on or before 1 March. This was communicated to the school on 23 January. 

On 5 February, the ministry sought the guidance of the Attorney General. But while they waited, the school approached the court. Bohn said the school did not allow for internal proceedings to conclude.

She, however, observed that the school is not barred from enrolling learners for school and examination purposes. 

“The applicant (school) is not precluded from continuing trading or carrying on with normal business, until such a time the minister makes a decision. Consequently, the online registration portal will be made available,” she stated.

Bohn added that the barring of the online registration process with the education ministry is a preventative measure while internal processes are being concluded.

All in all, the school is allowed to enrol learners and collect tuition fees. 

Judge Miller will give a ruling tomorrow.

2024-02-21  Maria Sheya

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