Augustineum Secondary School in Windhoek recently revoked the admission of 10 Angolan learners who could not read or write in English but were admitted in the second semester this year.
According to the school, the students were admitted in Grade 11, between May and June after they were brought in by an official from the Regional Directorate of Education to fill in the existing places at the school.
The 10 Angolan learners at Augustineum Secondary School, were “temporarily revoked” on 14 July 2011, according to a letter provided by the school’s Head of Admissions department, Tuwilika Matheus.
“The school management acted in the best interest of the learners and decided to send your children for an English course for the rest of the year,” reads the letter sent to the guardians.
The letter guaranties that the learners’ places will be reserved for the 2012 academic year provided they will be able to communicate in English and pass the entry test.
The Director of Education at the Khomas Regional Council, Josias Udjombala, said the school was right to send the 10 Angolan learners back to an English language school but the school broke the admission requirements by taking those learners in the second semester.
“It is very unlikely to be us who directed those learners to Augustineum. It is not possible because our officials know the requirements. The school principal has to tell us how those learners got a place at that school in the second semester,” said Udjombala.
He explained that admission for grade 11 is made in a period of a week in January and it is coordinated by the regional Directorate of Education. After that process, if there is still space, the school is then allowed to register students who come for late registration only in January.
“English is a compulsory subject for grade 11 learners. It is an issue for the school to explain how those students got into the school and why they did not meet grade 11 requirements,” said Udjombala.
The Regional Director explained that it is a general problem in the Khomas Region where school principals “unscrupulously” admit Angolan students.
Udjombala said his office know some reasons why some principals illegally admit Angolan learners into their institutions.
“Angolans pay bribery. They pay the school development fund fee on time as compared to locals. That is why principals take them irrespective of them meeting the requirements,” said Udjombala.
Minister Counsellor at the Angolan Embassy in Windhoek, Silvestre Guido Castelbranco, said that the Embassy has not received any formal complaint regarding that incident but it was open for it.
He urged the schools to strictly obey its entry requirements.
“Every school, when admitting learners, has to follow its admission procedures, especially regarding English language which is the main medium of instruction in Namibia. Otherwise, how are we supposed to educate future leaders?” questioned Castelbranco.
He added that the Angolan Embassy is open for discussions and that it recently held meetings with some associations of Angolan students in Namibia to assess their plight.
The learners who spoke to The Villager, said that their school fees was paid in full (N$1.200) and an additional N$400 for extra English classes and were not yet refunded.
There were orignally about 30 Angolan learners registered at Augustineum Secondary School.