The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the education sector since 2020, but this year is set to kick off amid a litany of fresh challenges like the surge in positive cases.
The ministry also changed the academic calendar from three to two terms.
Because of stolen papers, some 2021 exams have been postponed, impacting the commencement of the academic year for those students hoping to go to tertiary institutions
The executive director in the ministry of education, Sanet Steenkamp, told New Era that the 2022 academic year is ready to resume, with schools opening on 6 January for teachers and on 10 January for learners.
She noted that the dates on which the leaked national exam papers will be rewritten are already out.
Earlier last month, the education ministry announced that there was a leakage of some matric exam papers and memoranda.
That incident had led to a disruption of the national examination of the affected subjects, which resulted in the cancellation of the exam of those subjects. It consequently delayed the release of the grades 11 and 12 examination results.
Three criminal cases have been opened with the Namibian Police in the localities where the suspected cases had occurred - Ongwediva and Ondangwa.
Ten suspects, including two foreign nationals, have been apprehended.
The ministry said the investigation led them to understand that the source of the leakage could have been through the examination papers which were intended for visually impaired candidates. To protect the integrity of the qualifications, the examinations will be rewritten in January and February this year.
Steenkamp added that the Grade 11s ordinary level pupils will write their exams from 10 to 22 January.
Some learners - such as the Grade 11s of last year in the Oshana and Oshikoto regions - will already be back to the hostels on 7 January.
She further explained that the Grade 12s’ Ordinary Level will write their exams from 7 to 13 February 2022, and both results for Advanced Subsidiary and Ordinary Level will be released in mid-February.
Asked if the dates on which the exam papers will be rewritten may affect the enrolment of pupils at tertiary institutions, International University of Management (IUM) director for marketing and communications Gerry Munyama said the institution is resuming next week, and those will be some of the aspects to be discussed.
“We are aware of that, and we will look into it when the institution reopens,” he observed.
Two-terms School Year
Steenkamp said due to an outcry of the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the education sector hard, the ministry of education, with the support of the National Advisory Council on Education, introduced a new calendar for the 2022 academic year.
The two terms comprise 195 school days (99 days in the first term and 96 in the second term).
“The first term ends on 10 June, and begins after six weeks. This is to allow children and teachers not to go to school during winter. The first term also provides sufficient time for teachers to truly cover all the syllabi, and also do revision,” she stated.