The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has expressed concern over Unam’s reluctance on admitting learners who exited school at Grade 11 through the new Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary level (NSSCO) curriculum.
The new curriculum was officially rolled out during the 2020 academic year.
“We are highly disappointed in Unam for refusing grade 11 learners. After 12 years of the implementation of the curriculum, why are they only informing us now that they are only considering grade 12,” Nanso president Simon Taapopi questioned.
Taapopi also accused the ministry of basic education and that of higher learning of lacking planning and coordination.
“We have learned that the University of Namibia received a total of 27 000 applications and was only able to provide provisional admission for about 5 000 students. This is an indication that there will be a serious challenge in terms of accessing education for many learners – and this is worrisome. This is also an indication that there has been a lack of planning and coordination between basic education and higher education. The curriculum was implemented 12 years ago,” he further argued.
In an interview with New Era, Taapopi said the organisation will be facilitating a high-level engagement with the ministry of basic education, higher education and Unam.
“This engagement will iron out issues that the university might have and what support mechanisms they will need to ensure that a favourable outcome is realised,” Taapopi said.
Speaking about the re-opening of institutions of higher learning at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek, the acting communications and marketing director at Unam, John Haufiku, said it is doubtful the candidates who exited school in grade 11 will be admitted at Unam this year, as the university received over 21 000 applications for this academic year.
Haufiku said although the NSSCO grade 11 candidates are eligible to apply to university when it comes to admission, Unam is sloping more towards the grade 12 candidates, who are the majority.
“If we don’t take that principle decision, where do the grade 12 learners go? Because these are huge numbers,” he stated.
Although Unam is unlikely to admit these learners, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the International University of Management confirmed that the grade 11 matriculants are eligible to apply for admission.
Education executive director Sanet Steenkamp could not be reached for comment, while the minister of higher education, Itah Kandjii-Murangi asked Youth Corner to wait for a statement.