• September 25th, 2018
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Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture

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Query: Response to the article “Sweeping curriculum reforms raise eyebrows” in the Confidénte paper 31 August - 6 September 2017 Response: The National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) would like to respond to the article, “Sweeping curriculum reforms raise eyebrows” published by the Confidénte on 31st August 2017. The reporter has published a misleading article putting the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in a bad light. The reporter made and cited uninformed statements. NIED would like to provide the public with the accurate information about the curriculum reforms for basic education: The curriculum reforms were informed by the Cabinet Directives based on the outcomes of the 2011 National Conference on Education held from 27 June to 1 July 2011. The late Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo, issued a press release regarding the decisions of Cabinet with respect to the outcomes of the National Conference on 31 August 2011. By introducing the curriculum reforms, the Ministry has implemented the Cabinet Directive number 1.12.4 as reflected in the press release of 31 August 2011. One of the strategies of the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) to attain the Desired Outcome 2 was to have improved learning standards and curricular development. One of the strategic focus areas of NDP4 is to increase the percentage of learners that meet the entry requirement for VET and other tertiary institutions and to “increase the availability of opportunities and places in senior secondary education”. The Ministry has also implemented the inspirations of NDP4 through the basic education reforms. Late 2011, NIED wrote a draft proposal on curriculum reforms for basic education. In 2012, NIED began with wide consultations on curriculum reforms. On 13 April 2012, NIED placed an advertisement on a draft curriculum reform proposal in The Namibian newspaper. A lot of feedback was received through short text messages (SMS’s). From the 4th July 2012 – 1st August 2012, NIED carried out the first wide consultations in all the fourteen regions. The consultative meetings were attended by principals, teachers, regional education officials, school-board members, representatives from unions, parents, representatives from civil society, parents and learners. NIED also uploaded the draft curriculum reform proposal on its website and received a lot of input from the public. The second consultations were carried out in 2013 in all the regions. After consolidation of all the input from the public, the then Ministry of Education tabled the curriculum reforms in Cabinet. Cabinet at its 3rd/25.03.14/001 meeting approved the curriculum reforms for basic education and the eight-year implementation plan. In September 2014, the Ministry of Education placed an advertisement detailing the content of the revised curriculum for basic education, the year of implementation of each school phase and grade as well as the structure of the Namibian education system in the print media. The Informanté newspaper published the detailed revised curriculum for basic education on 10th September 2014. There was a video clip by the former Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi, on the curriculum changes and years of implementation transmitted by the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in television the last five months of 2014. In 2014, the in-service training of the junior primary teachers and school principals was carried out before the implementation of the revised curriculum for the junior primary phase in 2015. The textbooks and other teaching and learning support materials for the junior primary phase (pre-primary to grade 3) are available. In 2015, the in-service training of the senior primary teachers was carried out before the implementation of the revised curriculum for the senior primary phase (grades 4 to 7) in 2016. The textbooks and other teaching and learning support materials for the senior primary phase are available. In 2016, the in-service training of the junior secondary teachers and school principals was carried out before the implementation of the revised curriculum for grades 8 and 9 in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The textbooks and other teaching and learning support materials for the junior secondary phase are available. This year (2017), NIED has planned in the NIED Calendar of Activities 2018/19 to provide in-service training of teachers and school principals on the revised curriculum of the senior secondary phase (grade 10 and 11) before the implementation of the revised curriculum for grade 10 and 11 in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The textbooks and other teaching and learning materials are being developed between now and March 2018. The following are the major changes: The grade 4 is no longer part of the junior primary phase. It is now part of the senior primary phase. This change has been implemented in 2015. The junior secondary phase consists of only two grades which are grades 8 and 9. This change has been implemented as from 2017. The grade 10 external examinations will be discontinued as from 2019, because the Junior Secondary Certificate which is obtained after writing the grade 10 external examinations is no longer in demand as most of the job entries require a Senior Secondary Certificate. In addition, the Ministry plans to: (a) keep the learners in the school system longer; (b) reduce the high dropout rate at the end of junior secondary phase; and (c) improve access to senior secondary education. Semi-external examinations will be written at the end of grade 9 to ensure consistency of learning standards across the regions. Learners will be tested to make sure that they meet subject competencies at a similar level before they progress to the senior secondary phase. This change will be implemented in 2018. Grade 10 will be part of the senior secondary phase as from the 2019 academic year. The duration of senior secondary education has been extended to three years in order to allow learners to have more time to learn. The duration of the senior secondary education is currently short – the NSSCO, which is a two-year course, has been taught parallel with the NSSCH. Learners will write the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) level examinations at the end of grade 11. This change will be implemented in 2020. If they pass these examinations, they will receive the NSSCO certificate (of the same status and quality as the current NSSCO) which is equivalent to the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). IGCSE is the world’s most popular international certification at the end of secondary school (equivalent to O-Level, United Kingdom GCSE, fifth form or year 11 in respective countries) before learners proceed to Advanced Level (A-Level) or sixth form or year 12 and 13 or pre-university studies. After obtaining the NSSCO, learners can register at institutions of higher learning, seek employment or proceed to Grade 12. Many universities worldwide require a combination of Cambridge A levels and Cambridge IGSCEs to meet their entry requirements. South African universities require a combination of 3 subjects at A Level plus 1 subject at IGCSE/O Level or 4 subjects at Cambridge International Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level plus 1 subject at IGCSE/O Level or 4 subjects at NSSC Higher Level plus 1 subject at NSSC Ordinary Level. The Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Level (NSSCH) will be replaced by the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS). NSSCH was benchmarked against the Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education (HIGCSE) which no longer exists. NSSCAS will be benchmarked against the Cambridge AS Level. NSSCAS is a one-year course, which will be offered in Grade 12. This change will be implemented in 2021. Learners will take three to five subjects on NSSCAS. Cambridge International AS Level can be a standalone qualification or year 1 of Cambridge International Advanced Level programme. We would like to request the media to work closely with us in order to provide accurate information to the public. For more information, kindly contact us: Tel. 062-509000, Hertha Pomuti (PhD), Email address: hpomuti@nied.edu.na * Mr Absalom Absalom, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, E-mail Address: Absalom.absalom@moe.gov.na
2017-09-26 09:56:43 11 months ago
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