• September 19th, 2020

Suspension of classes not a holiday - Nghipondoka

Education minister Anna Nghipondoka yesterday said the suspension of face-to-face classes for early childhood development, pre-primary and grade 1 to 9 learners for 28 days should not be considered as a holiday. 
“We must keep in mind that this one month’s suspension of face-to-face is not to be regarded as a school holiday or total school closure. During this period, the ministry will continue to strengthen the initiatives geared towards school preparedness,” she said. 

“Teachers must continue reporting to school and put all mechanisms in place to facilitate learning from home by providing continuous assessment tasks for promotional purposes.” 
Student bodies yesterday welcomed Cabinet’s decision to suspend face-to-face mode of instruction due to the rising Covid-19 cases. 

President Hage Geingob on Friday said grades 10, 11 and 12 would be permitted to continue with face-to-face instruction. 
“These difficult decisions were arrived at, in consideration of the vulnerability and risks associated with the spread of the virus. With regard to tertiary institutions where ICT infrastructures are adequate to enable online teaching, learning will continue remotely. Vocational education training providers will continue with face-to-face education for the specified period and as provided for under the current regulations,” President Geingob announced. 

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) spokesperson Dylan Mukoroli yesterday said the union cordially welcomes the decision to halt the returning of learners to school in the specified grades and dates. 
He reasoned the current rising cases by way of local transmission places these learners in greater risks, especially for the lower grades, as they are likely not to adhere to social distancing and wearing of masks. 
“We must now ensure that grade 10, 11 and 12s are greatly catered for. These learners are at a critical grade in their lifetime and need our consistent support. Their continuation gives them an advantage in achieving their learning and career goals; however, it also places them at risk. We are cognizant of this risk, and we are working to ensure the school environment is up to standard and that no form of compromise exists that will harm learners,” Mukoroli noted. 

“For the grades that won’t be returning for the said days, together with teachers, principals and school board chairpersons, Nanso will ensure to develop a mitigation strategy so as to ensure that upon their return, no time is wasted and that they get the necessary support and motivation to push through.” 
He added learning from home through alternative and inclusive means must continue, as time is not on educators and learners’ side in light of the increase in cases. 

“We all bear responsibility to ensure that these decisions materialise, education has changed as we know it and we must flatten the risks by doing our part,” Mukoroli said. 
Students Union of Namibia (SUN) secretary general Berhard Kavau proposed that teachers must focus more on the grade 9s instead of grade 10s because they are writing national exams. 
“We welcome the decision of government but we want them to consider grade 9 more. SUN believes that government had the ear of people and we appreciate that. However, we believe that grade 9 could be a good decision for them to get back to school instead of grade 10. Our understanding is that it is very important for the transition grade to be at school,” Kavau said.

– anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-08-03 08:58:55 | 1 months ago

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