Albertina Nakale WINDHOEK – The education ministry is training examiners on how to set up quality standard question papers that form part of the new curriculum reform for the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO) national examinations starting in 2020. “This year we are writing the old curriculum Grade 12 paper. In 2020 the new curriculum kicks in. So, we need to train the people who will draw the question papers on the syllabus, interpretation and how to set quality standard papers. This has to be done in consultation with Cambridge,” explained Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture director for examinations Clementine-Tsumis Garises yesterday. The ministry has set aside N$ 10.4 million for the examination paper setting workshops for the new NSSCO national examinations. She said Namibia has an agreement with Cambridge and hence they are also bringing in experts to train people for the revised curriculum to set up the question paper. According to her, the workshops are ongoing because there are a lot of changes in subject matters. She revealed, for instance, the current subject called Physical Science would be changed and separated into two subjects of Physics and Chemistry. The curriculum reforms for the basic education were informed by the Cabinet directives based on the outcomes of the National Conference on Education held from June 27 to July 1, 2011. After consolidation of all the inputs from the public, the then Ministry of Education tabled the curriculum reforms in Cabinet. Cabinet approved the curriculum reforms for basic education and the eight-year implementation plan as per Cabinet directive. The Grade 4 is no longer part of the junior primary phase. It is now part of the senior primary phase. The Junior Primary Phase consists of pre-primary and Grade 1 to 3, while Senior Primary Phase consists of Grade 4-7. These changes and the revised curriculum for the Junior and Senior Primary Phases were implemented in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Junior Secondary Phase consists of only two grades, the Grade 8 and 9. This change and the revised curriculum for Grade 8 and 9 have been implemented in 2017 and 2018. The pre-vocational or technical subjects have been included in the school curriculum in the primary and secondary phases. The Basic Pre-Vocational Skills Course has been developed to cater for learners with special educational needs including learning difficulties as well as those with a range of disabilities. Meanwhile, the Grade 10 external examinations would be discontinued as from 2019, because the Junior Secondary Certificate, which is obtained after writing the Grade 10 external examinations, is no longer in demand as most of the job entries require a Senior Secondary Certificate. Semi-external examinations will be written at the end of Grade 9 to ensure consistency of learning standards across the regions. Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa earlier said learners would be tested to make sure that they meet subject competencies at a similar level before they progress to the senior secondary phase. This change will be implemented this year. Major curriculum changes have been made in the senior secondary curriculum in order to align the Namibian secondary school curriculum with international standards. Hanse-Himarwa said the NSSCO level qualification has been strengthened and aligned with the current curriculum standards for academic demands of the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), an international qualification. The Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Higher (NSSCH) level qualification is benchmarked against the Higher International General Certificate of Education (HIGCSE), which is an extension of the IGCSE curriculum. HIGCSE is equivalent to the South African Matric (Higher Grade), taken in year 12 of the school education. The HIGCSE level has been phased out.
New Era Reporter
2018-06-12 08:53:02 8 months ago