Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-Teachers’ ability to handle the new revised education curriculum and teach high level was questioned at a consultative meeting at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday. The meeting saw parents, learners, teachers and other stakeholders gather at Suiderlig High school to scrutinise, among others, the new revised basic education curriculum, with many sceptical about whether teachers are equipped to handle the revised curriculum, as well as the ability of teachers to teach subjects on high level. The revised curriculum has seen a number of reforms in the education structure from pre-primary to senior secondary, and some of these reforms have already been implemented at primary phase, and Grade 8, while grades 9 to 12 are to follow suit as of next year. Those in attendance, especially learners, questioned the teachers’ capacity to teach the new curriculum, aimed at improving the quality of Namibian education, saying some teachers are already struggling to produce good grades with the old curriculum. “Our teachers are struggling with the old curriculum – will the teachers be able to handle the new and more complex curriculum?” asked one of the learners. Another concern raised at the meeting was whether Namibia has enough qualified teachers to teach high level, as learners are encouraged to take at least three subjects at high level at secondary phase under the new curriculum. A former teacher said “we need to be honest and acknowledge that we do not have teachers capable of teaching at high level”, and that high level should not start at senior secondary phase only but should be in place from junior secondary. She opined that those entrusted to teach high level did not themselves do high level during their school years, but are only doing that because they obtained qualifications at universities, but she said these teachers still lack the necessary qualities to be able to effectively teach high level. The former teacher said although these teachers are graduates, they are not equipped to teach at high level, and that is why, according to her, some teachers discourage learners from doing high level, not because the learners are not capable but because the teachers are incapable. “We do not have qualified teachers to deal with high level – some of us discourage learners from doing high level, especially maths, because it is better for the learner to know they are not good enough, than for them to know that the teachers are unable to teach high level,” she said. Another concern raised at the meeting by some learners was the issue of mathematics not being a compulsory promotional subject in grades 8 and 9, but becomes a compulsory promotional subject in grades 10 to 12. This means unlike the current system that requires that a learner passes mathematics in order to proceed to the next grade, learners in grades 8 and 9 will go to the next grade even if they fail mathematics, but will fail to proceed to Grade 11 should they fail mathematics in Grade 10. Many at the meeting felt that this would create a situation where learners do not take mathematics seriously in those two grades, as they will be reluctant, only to get to Grade 10 and try to pick up the pieces, which some felt will be too little too late. “Do you not think that the learners will also be on vacation for those two years if maths is not a compulsory promotional subject?” one parent asked. The revised curriculum will also see an end of the Grade 10 national examinations, but while there will be no national exams come 2019, those under the age of 18 who fail Grade 10 will be pushed back to Grade 9.
New Era Reporter
2017-11-24 09:38:04 11 months ago