By: Uakutura Kamabekua
The revised national curriculum that the education ministry implemented seven years ago is still receiving backlash from parents and guardians. Some cited that it’s still confusing and was not carefully planned and executed, leaving some learners in limbo after completing grade 11.
However, the bickerings surrounding the revised curriculum were met with defences from various education stakeholders, including the minister of education.
Recently, there has been support and clarity on implementing the curriculum coming from Putuavanga Senior Secondary School principal Richard Tjazapi.
Tjazapi maintained the government’s stance, noting that the curriculum rollout would continue and those complaining just misunderstood the curriculum and will thus accept its true potential as time goes by.
The principal made these remarks during a recent interview with The Villager, amongst various topics discussed.
He said that parents were made aware of the new curriculum and that the changes have started from grade 8 and have moved year by year to the other grades.
“The curriculum changes did not start yesterday. The changes started with grade 8, and we have explained during the parents’ meeting,” he added.
Tjazapi noted that the confusion would be there since parents are not in the education system, and that’s why it’s confusing to them, adding that teachers are ought to be the ones to explain the curriculum to the parents.
“Anything new that is introduced, people tend to fear as they do not know the outcome,” noted Tjazapi.
He further clarified that the new curriculum doesn’t necessarily make provision for all learners to continue to grade 12.
“The current grade 12 is not for everyone. For example, it’s for learners who decide to take a critical course at the tertiary level, e.g. civil engineering or medicine. These learners have to sit for grade 12 AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level before being accepted at higher institutions,” said Tjavzapi.
He said the AS level is there to prepare them for these required courses better, adding that learners who want to be admitted for grade 12 should have a clear focus on what they want to study.
Tjazapi further mentioned that the curriculum should be given time to manifest and be judged after 10 years.
PSSS MAINTAINED TOP SPOT
Tjazapi further praised his school for maintaining the top spot in the region for the fifth consecutive year on ordinary and high-level exams, which he said will remain intact in years to come.
He said there was an improvement in the passing rate compared to 2020, with more than 80% of learners advancing to tertiary education compared to 76 per cent of last year.
For a school dominated by learners from the marginalised community, Tjazapi indicated that they had defeated all odds of becoming a force to be reckoned with, with various methods such as the motivation of teachers and learners.
“There is a spirit of healthy competition amongst teachers themselves. Each teacher wants to make sure that their subjects perform above others,” he said, adding that the teachers are also uplifting learners by making sure their subjects do not fall below standards.
Meanwhile, the education ministry has recently issued a directive to education directorates to scrap any school rule that forces learners, especially girls, to shave their heads.
Putuavanga school remains one of the few schools that still cut learners’ hair, a status quo Tjazapi said will remain unless opposed by the parents.
Tjazapi said that cutting learners’ hair instils discipline and provides a conducive environment for all learners to be equally treated and not judged by their different lifestyles.
“Just like the school uniform, we want our learners to look the same, and thus the status quo remains, we talked to the parents, and they agreed,” he said. He said they want their learners to look the same without fear of discrimination at all costs.