Clemans Miyanicwe Windhoek-Kunene regional education director, Angeline Steenkamp, told New Era she was satisfied with the Junior Secondary Certificate results of grades 10 and 12. Steenkamp said Kunene Region showed an improvement in the ranking of the 2017 results in terms of the Grade 10 and higher-level Grade 12. The region moved from position nine to eight and improved five points on the better grades, from position 13 in higher level to number six. However, Steenkamp told New Era the region still has to work much harder for better results. “We are very grateful for all the efforts and extra miles that the schools went to improve the national rankings of the region. Kunene has shown that we are capable, therefore all of us have to pull up our socks and put more efforts into what we are doing,” stated the regional education director. She said that 2018 is declared as a year of hard work. “Thumbs up for all the staff members and learners. I have trust in the capabilities of the people of the region, the dynamics and therefore, we will excel academically,” Steenkamp added. Those who didn’t make it were advised they should not be discouraged and continue with their schooling to improve on the grades through Namcol or recognised institutions. Steenkamp praised the late governor Angelika Muharukua, special advisors to the governor, the regional councillors, Education Forum members and Rössing Foundation for their continued support. “Most of the subject teachers at our JSC and NSSC schools need to be applauded for the efforts and extra time they put in,” Steenkamp said. The Kunene Region registered 732 learners in Grade 10 in 2017, with a promotion rate of 54 percent to Grade 11. The region had 395 learners in Grade 10 who made it to Grade 11 last year, and the Grade 11 placement of learners was done successfully last Wednesday at Outjo. All of the learners who applied to schools in Kunene were successfully placed, however every year there is a high demand for Grade 11 places at Putuavanga Senior Secondary School in Opuwo and Outjo Secondary School, and this year was no different, according to Steenkamp. “This means that some of the learners who applied to these two schools were placed at either Mureti High School in Opuwo, Braunfels Agricultural High School or at Cornelius Goreseb High School in Khorixas. Thus, all the learners who applied to the Kunene Region were placed in accordance with the Grade 11 Placement Circular,” Steenkamp said. Kunene has 65 schools, with 14 combined schools (Grade 1-10), two junior secondary schools (Grade 8-10) and five senior secondary schools (Grade 8-12), where the curriculum is offered at the JSC and NSSC (Ordinary and Higher Level). There were 28,864 learners in the different phases from pre-primary to Grade 12 and 1,053 teachers at the schools. When asked about the shortage of teachers, Steenkamp responded that the region does not only have a shortage of teachers, but also qualified teachers as Kunene seemingly is not a region of choice due to its remote rural schools and the developmental challenges experienced all over the region. Lack of learning materials such as textbooks, and no access to libraries and laboratories, definitely hamper Grade 10 and 12 learners’ performance. She feels adequate parental support, as well as financial ability, at times also limit the potential of Kunene pupils who despite these and other social challenges always commit themselves to attend schools. She commended parents for their involvement in school activities and implored them to really get involved in school activities, as well as to attend meetings and assist schools in disciplining their children. “Many of our learners are from child-headed households where often they have to fend for themselves to survive the social challenges of peer pressure, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic violence on their own, without the necessary parental support and family network.” On the other hand, many pupils come from impoverished and vulnerable backgrounds, she said, adding that their potential is ever valued as they keep the Kunene amongst the regions to be noticed when national results are announced. “We remain optimistic that together we can overcome,” Steenkamp said. Steenkamp said alcohol and drug abuse is a national concern and requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders such as parents and all teachers (not only life skills teachers) to guide and encourage learners to take charge of their future by resisting all destructive pressures.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-17 09:20:04 10 months ago