NKURENKURU – Achieving the right to an inclusive and quality education for learners with disabilities remains an unfinished business in Kavango West Region as the region does not yet have a fully-fledged special school that caters for learners with physical impairments and special needs.
This was revealed in a statement by the Kavango West regional director of education, Teopolina Hamutumua.
The education ministry through its mission statement has pledged to “to provide an accessible, equitable and inclusive quality education for a tolerant, skilled, productive and competitive nation, and to promote and preserve arts and culture for nationhood and unity in diversity.”
“Even though the ministry has succeeded in providing access to education, the state of affairs with regard to the provision of inclusive quality education cannot go unchallenged, especially in the rural sparsely populated regions that host a high number of marginal communities with low socio-economy,” assured the regional director of education.
Hamutumua noted that presently there are multiple barriers to learning of which some are systemic, organizational, pedagogical, curriculum-related, environmental, financial, societal as well as cultural in addition to attitudinal barriers.
“Despite the above overwhelming challenges, the status of education in the region is progressive. The National Standardised Test taken in 2018 by grades 5 and 7 showed an improvement in mathematics, English and natural science,” she stated.
“However, in comparison to other regions there is empirical evidence that prove that the quality of education offered at junior primary is not up to the expected standards. A notable improvement was also recorded at junior secondary level (Grade 10) where the region moved from 47 percent in 2016 to 53 percent in 2018,” she elaborated.
In Kavango West, the number of learners that scored 25 points and D English that was recorded at seven percent in 2016 has improved to 18 percent and 17 percent in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“If you followed the news last week, we learnt that Oshikoto Region, the leading champion on JSC results for the past nine years, has recorded 22% of learners that qualified for tertiary education. That is an indication that the performance of Grade 12 is generally low nationally,” she said.
According to Hamutumua, as a region there is a need to strengthen the foundation of education at junior primary if they are to reap the desired results.
“The directorate has so far implemented strategies to improve the foundation of education. Among other things is the piloting of a Jolly Learning Program to six schools, the establishment of two primary hostels to accommodate children who have to travel long distances to access education, quarterly reports on the monitoring of individual teachers’ work, to mention just a few,” she noted.