The education ministry has procured textbooks to the tune of N$30 million for learners reporting on 16 February for the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) level.
Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp told New Era yesterday there have been over 40 training courses for over 1 100 teachers to support NSSCAS schools. NSSCAS will be offered in 120 schools and 95 of those are public.
“There are still 235 teachers that need additional days of training in their respective subject content because their training was interrupted due to the closure of some towns,” she said.
NSSCAS to be implemented for the first time in Namibia in the 2021 academic year is part of the third basic education changes that started in 2012, following resolutions taken at the 2011 education conference, which includes phasing out HIGSE in 2010. This means grade 11 is the first exit point from basic education.
According to the ministry, learners will have an internationally recognised certificate (bench-marked on Cambridge IGCSE), which gives them access to further education and training. The minimum requirements in a specific subject for admission to NSSCAS will be determined by the ministry. However, learners are expected to enrol for three to five promotional elective subjects and two support subjects.
On completion of grade 12, learners will have NSSCAS, an internationally recognised certificate, which gives them access to higher education institutions, with NQF level 4 entry requirements or to the job market. Meanwhile, Steenkamp said most schools have already received funds towards free universal primary and secondary education.
“By now that money has already been disbursed to schools; most schools already used the money. I will be receiving feedback from a particularly large school in Otjozondjupa to see the exact cost implications and the unit cost per learner. Schools are sitting with sufficient funds in their account and know the exact need. The ministry will also deposit money to the regions to ensure that either the regions buy in bulk and make sure they cover the needs of schools or deposit money directly into the account of schools,” she said.
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Steenkamp said the school management and regional directors have gained a lot of experience in handling positive or suspected cases. She added every regional director has been given a compliance list to ensure all schools are familiar with what to do, who to contact in the health ministry, and act swiftly in terms of Covid-19 response.
She emphasised the continued and mandatory wearing of masks, hand sanitising, and social distancing.
Once schools re-open on 16 January for teachers, she promised that the ministry will continue consulting and look at international studies and practices to learn how to deal with Covid-19 while ensuring continued learning. Learners (grade 0-11) are expected to resume learning and teaching on 26 January.
She was quick to clarify there will be various teaching modes for special cases among children who can’t attend full time due to health reasons.