Albertina Nakale Windhoek-The Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) has revealed it can only accommodate 15 000 learners in its campuses next year, despite the sad reality that more than 18 000 full-time learners failed their Grade 10 examinations this year. Only 22 462 (55.3 percent) qualified for admission to Grade 11 in 2018 out of 40 599 full-time candidates, who sat for Grade 10 final examinations this year. This means a whopping 18 137 learners failed to make the 23 points pass mark and will have to repeat the same grade if they are 17 years old and younger. “I don’t know how many are coming to us. However, for 2018, we have prepared space for about 15 000 learners, including our learners who did not make it. This year is a very difficult year in terms of limited resources. So, we have to put a cap on the number of students we are admitting,” NAMCOL director, Dr Heroldt Murangi, revealed in an interview with New Era yesterday. He said this year they had enrolled 12 500 and for next year they increased the number to 15 000. A total 12 044 part-time candidates were enrolled with the NAMCOL while 689 part-time candidates were enrolled with various distance education institutions registered with the Ministry of Education. In total, 12 733 part-time candidates were registered for 2017 national examinations compared to 11 735 registered in 2016. This represents an increase of 998 (8.5 percent) candidates. He noted that 2017 has not been an easy year due to the economic crunch experienced by all sectors in Namibia. Murangi is hopeful the Ministry of Education will hear their pleas and allocate them additional resources to accommodate more learners who failed to make it in the formal education system. NAMCOL remains a highly recognised and relevant institution for learners to upgrade their subject symbols. The Vocational Training Centres through the Namibia Training Authority are also available as avenues to further learners’ careers. During the 2017 academic year, 3 270 candidates were allowed to repeat of which 2 246 (68.7%) qualified for admission to Grade 11 in 2018. Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, yesterday commended the candidates who passed for their hard work, as they managed to capitalise on the second chance they got. She said a comparison of cumulative percentages since 2013 indicates that the performance of the 2017 candidates is much better at higher grades A and B, while slightly poorer at intermediate lower grades. “Well done to you all. It can, therefore, be construed that more of the part-time candidates might qualify for admission to Grade 11 in 2018,” she commended. The poor performance of the candidates at intermediate grades is due to the increase of ungraded entries of 10.9 percent compared to 6.8 percent in 2016. “I think overall, the learners did very well in terms of high grades such as A and B symbols. The objective has always been that as many students as possible achieve A, B and Cs. But the learners also did not do well in terms of C, D and E grades, as there was an increase in ungraded entries. This is because of the number of subject entries not entered for exams. This is an area of concern,” Murangi stressed. He said the learners register for exams but they do not go and sit for the exams, which affects their performance in terms of the grading. He is, however, glad that the students improved in terms of the A and the B grades, which is even better compared to the A and B grades of full-time learners. Hanse-Himarwa said the high number of candidates not meeting the admission requirement for Grade 11 remains a grave concern to the ministry and she encouraged these candidates not to despair but to explore other options in order to further their academic aspirations.
New Era Reporter
2017-12-21 09:15:28 10 months ago