Learning and teaching continues to be interrupted by rising Covid-19 cases countrywide. The education ministry announced that pre-primary to grade 9 learners, currently on a winter holiday, will only resume face-to-face learning on 4 August 2021. These learners were initially given a winter holiday until 26 July 2021.
“We herewith notify all stakeholders that the holiday has been extended until 3 August 2021 and learners should return to school for face-to-face teaching and learning on 4 August 2021. Teachers will be required to return to school on 2 August 2021,” Steenkamp said in a circular issued Monday.
In light of the current trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic, she said the ministry finds it imperative to further amend the calendar.
Grades 10, 11 and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) learners are currently on mandatory closure in accordance with the Amendment of Public Health Covid-19 Regulations of the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015 (Act No I of 2015) as in Government Notice No 138.
The learners were due to return to school on 19 July 2021 for face-to-face teaching and learning.
Steenkamp clarified these learners will not return to face-to-face learning on 19 July as earlier announced, but schools are directed to commence with alternative modes of teaching and learning from 19 to 30 July.
Teachers are requested to make use of all available options including offline and online approaches.
Grades 10, 11 and AS learners will, therefore, return for face-to-face teaching and learning on 12 August 2021.
Private schools that are following the Namibian curriculum are urged to adhere to the changes as set out in the circular.
“We are aware that there are private schools that follow alternative curricula and examination timetables and this will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, as it relates to pre-scheduled assessments and examinations,” she said.
The external examinations for grades 11, 12 (legacy curriculum) and AS will commence on 15 November and conclude on 17 December 2021, with exception of the early question papers and borrowed syllabi, which will commence from October 2021.
Steenkamp advised there are various resources available to both teachers and learners to engage with during this time.
One such resource is the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol), which has launched learning content for Grades 8 to AS level in all subjects. The lesson content can be accessed on the Namcol website (www.namcol.edu.na).
The same materials can be accessed on One Africa Television; DSTV Channel 284.
She said funding was provided to regions for the procurement of materials and schools were also advised to make use of the primary and secondary education grant allocations to procure materials.
The ministry is requesting that regions provide the head office with the breakdown of support received, money spent and areas of gaps. The due date for the submission is 19 July 2021.
Schools are directed to strengthen adherence to Covid-19 health protocols and ensure that social distancing is adhered to, that the wearing of masks is strictly enforced and that the provision of handwashing and sanitising are in place.