Annakleta Haikera, Rundu
The ministry of education, arts and culture says that it could not
compromise its standing with Cambridge International by allowing an
exam paper that has potentially leaked countrywide to proceed.
The education ministry said that it has a legally binding contract with
Cambridge Assessment International to ensure that it administers
credible examinations and that it has specific standards to uphold in
order for Cambridge International to certify Namibia’s qualification.
Multiple exam papers for grades 11 and 12s leaked in November.
“At the onset, when the leakage of the first subject was discovered, in
consultation with Cambridge International, the ministry of Education, Arts
and culture believed that if it could be contained in the areas
where it was detected, rewrite would not have been necessary and
internal checks and control measures would have been used,” said
education ministry executive director, Sanet Steenkamp.
“However, as investigations revealed further leakages, and that it could
not be contained to a specific centre/school or region only, the ministry
as guided by the requirements on the accreditation agreement, acted
swiftly and decided for the affected papers in specific subjects
to be rewritten. We consulted Cambridge International when making this
the decision, and it fully supports this decision.”
She further argued that accreditation by Cambridge International adds
value to the grade 11 and 12 certificates and will allow learners access
to a wide range of higher education and employment opportunities.
If this is not done, subjects may not be accredited or even the full
qualification might lose its accreditation and recognition in Namibia
Qualifications Authority’s Framework (NQF).
This comes as several political parties and student unions and
associations have spoken out against the ministry’s decision to retake
The National African Students’ Association (NASA) yesterday threatened
to take the education ministry to court if it does not reverse a decision to
retake the 2021 exams for grades 11 and 12s in February 2022.
The association argues that the re-sitting of the exams will have a
the psychological toll on learners.
“We wish to warn the minister of basic education, arts, and culture that
failure to heed this demand will result in the association putting in an
an urgent application to challenge the decision in the high court of Namibia and secondly, the association will organize a nationwide demonstration,” NASA President Haingura Ambrosius stated.
The association called on parents, teachers’ union and students’ bodies
to support our decision to oppose the decision made by the minister of
education and fight for the learner’s justice.
He further called the ministry’s decision unrealistic and premature. He
further argued that there was no proof that the leakage that started in
Oshana region is now countrywide.
Furthermore, based on the initial investigation, which has shown
that 10 people have been arrested and charged for the exam paper
leakage or for seeing the exam papers, there is no basis for a national rewrite.
He said it is clear that the people responsible for leaking the question papers are ministerial officials or whether these learners are not attached to the Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment (DNEA) in any
Ambrosius added that the line ministry was supposed to conduct a forensic audit to determine how much private individuals gained access to information about the exam papers rather than make assumptions.
“Many learners were told they were done writing their exams and are
now ready to spend time with their families and go on holiday. Telling
them they have to begin studying again will have a psychological impact
on them; rewriting will affect their performance,” NASA argues.