• April 9th, 2020

Tses learner battles the odds

WINDHOEK - Despite the absence of critical textbooks and upsetting conditions of her school, learning never stopped for Taimi Asino. 

The 18-year-old rallied against her circumstances to become one of the top performers in Grade 12. Last week, Taimi was confirmed as the sixth top performer in the Grade 12 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Ordinary Level examinations of 2019, a remarkable feat for a learner who, at a tender age, learned to embrace her struggles. 

Taimi lost both her parents when she was a little girl. She later lost her aunt and had to rely on her elder cousins. 

This did not prove to be a hindrance to Taimi; she continued to excel in school. “I made it. Now I can make history for myself, create a name for myself and improve the situation at home. At least there is someone respected from my family. I thought of my mom – if she was alive, what could she have said?” expressed Taimi as she rubs meritorious school awards won over the years. 

Taimi has also been lauded for beating the odds and competing with learners from affluent schools. Her school, St Therese Secondary School, located at the dusty settlement of Tses in the //Kharas Region, did not have textbooks in Geography, English and Agriculture. Despite having sufficient teachers and moderate infrastructure, it became clear in the interview with Taimi that the learners were not spoiled for choice. 

“For Biology, we got (donation) textbooks from a German couple but I shared with my classmate. We didn’t have Geography textbooks. We were forced to ask the Grade 10s new curriculum textbooks. English, we never received textbooks and never used a module. Agriculture, we didn’t use textbooks,” Taimi recalls her final journey in Grade 12 at one of her cousin’s home in Windhoek’s Goreangab. Regardless the situation at St Therese, Taimi and her schoolmates persevered. 

She added her Biology teacher constantly encouraged her to study very hard to become one of the nation’s top performers. 

Taimi, who has set her sights at studying medicine at the University of Namibia’s School of Medicine, has always been a top learner. In Grade 10, she occupied second position in //Kharas and in the circuit after scoring eight As and a D in Afrikaans to make up 42 points. 

She pointed out an incident that happened in Grade 7 pushed her to do better at school after failing to be recognised as the dux learner following a poor grade in Afrikaans. “In Grade 7, we had an award ceremony; I was supposed to be given a trophy but because I didn’t get a certificate in Afrikaans, they decided I won’t get it and I cried a lot. 

They gave it to one of my classmates and I told him it would be his first and last time,” she stated. And truly so, she kept excelling. Taimi came to Windhoek when she was still a little girl, following her mother’s death. Her mother was a schoolteacher in northern Namibia. 

She started her pre-primary and Grade 1 at Ecumenical Community School at Khoixas in the Vaalgras area. Her father, who was self-employed, died when she was in Grade 2. 

She later returned to Windhoek and attended a school up to Grade 5. She was later forced to attend another boarding school in the south after her aunt died. She completed her primary education at Novak Primary School, also at Tses, before proceeding to St Therese. 

Asino, who has been in boarding school for most of her school life, said she was thankful for the opportunity. She is also overwhelmed by the support she got from her cousins through her primary and secondary education. “The good thing is they tried to give me the best. They don’t treat me as an orphan. We had a school tour to Cape Town and they paid N$2 800. Everything I needed, they provided for me,” she said.

Her emotional cousin Josefina Nghinamwani couldn’t hold back tears while sitting through Taimi’s interview. “I want her to remain committed to her school work until completion,” she said.


Selma Ikela
2020-01-13 07:19:22 | 2 months ago

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