980 000 school drop outs in 20 years?
United Democratic Front member, Themistokles Murorua has raised brows over the sinking number of grade 12 learners as compared to the numbers registered in grade 1 each year.
Murorua estimated that at least 980 000 learners have dropped out of school in the last two decades, as the ministry of education has registered an annual average of 60 000 grade 1 learners since 1998 however only an average of 11 000 sit for the grade 12 exam, leaving about 49 000 out of class.
“Yet on the day of the African Child we are always stating ‘leave no child behind’ for Africa’s development. The million dollar question is why do so many of the learners drop out, are they really so dumb or does the fault lie with us as the Namibian leaders and not only with the ministry of education. Today it is the youth who are suffering but in the future the entire nation will suffer.”
“As a nation we only are left with 11 years before 2030 and as per our Vision 2030 we have to join the ranks of high income countries and afford all our citizens a quality of life that is comparable to that of the developed world, but looking at the high dropout levels and unemployment rate this vision is fading away,” he said.
Murorua also criticised that teachers have to leave their classrooms to attend workshops in order to be familiarised with the content of the ever changing curriculum, time which can be spend on teaching.
“The high number of youth who are getting lost along their educational path before acquiring any tangible academic or vocational skills end up unemployed and out of frustration fall victim to things such as drug abuse and criminal gangsterism.”
“The other most important aspect is that we as leaders and as a nation are currently not breeding the kind of future leaders to lead this nation and that is regardless of great potential that our youth posses. This means that we will not be sitting with knowledge based nation at the end of the day,” he said.