By: Uakutura Kambaekua
The Kunene education directorate has rewarded teachers, school principals and schools for their outstanding performances after the 2020/2021 national examination results for both the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSCO) and National Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS).
The event acknowledged the achievements of the best-performing teachers, school principals and schools in the region, where winners were presented with certificates, medals and trophies for their performances.
The event also recognised educators from the region for their contributions to Kunene schools.
According to Epupa circuit education inspector Josu Shikongo, the awards motivate educators to appreciate their efforts and conveys gratitude to teachers for their excellent teaching performance for the years under review.
“It also motivates them to go the extra mile while at the same time pushing and motivating those that were not shortlisted to push themselves further,” added Shikongo.
On Tuesday, he also told the Villager that even though the ministry did not award the winners with cash prizes or material things, it is about appreciating the teachers’ hard work.
He also said that these awards are not for the academic division only but for the whole administration of the schools.
Shikongo further noted that schools in far remote areas in the region facing deep-rooted inequalities in access to tools and technology have threatened to deepen their learning crisis.
He said that even remoteness should not be an excuse for substandard performance.
“There are colleagues in the bushes that are really outperforming the ones with unlimited resources in towns,” he said.
Shikongo reiterated that the awards should motivate all teachers, the education fraternity, and the management of schools for the vital role they play in their respective schools’ performance.
Shilongo also hailed Putuavanga Secondary School for its consistent performance nationally, adding that the efforts of primary schools should also be recognised in mentoring these top-performing learners.
The big winners during last week’s awards included 11 teachers from Opuwo based Putuavanga Secondary School, who all scooped gold medals for their respective subjects, including the school principal Richard Tjazapi, who took home the award of the best principal.
Kamanjab High School got the first prize for the Namibia Senior Secondary Ordinary (NSSCO), followed by Putuavanga Secondary School and Mureti High School. For the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) category, Mureti came first, followed by Putuavanga Secondary School.
In a recent interview with the Villager newspaper, Putuavanga school principal Richard Tjazapi stated that the awards ceremony is a good way to honour educators who have shown outstanding performance throughout the year.
“This is one of those events that we enjoy every year. Our teachers have been winning these awards every year with consistent performances. Our school also did well nationally by coming in ninth position in 2020.
Last year, we outperformed ourselves by scoring more than 90 per cent in all our subjects,” he said.
Tjazapi also noted that his school’s continuous prosperous results should be centred around the learner to teacher ratio, adding that the fewer the learners per teacher, the better the performance.
Judging by the fewer learners they have for both grades 11 and 12, Tjazapi narrated that he expects the school’s overall performance to improve.
He said his school has shifted its focus from the region and will now take the academic challenge nationally. He said the award he won doesn’t mean that it’s his achievement alone.
“Being ‘Principal of the Year’ doesn’t mean that it’s Mr Tjazapi alone. It goes to everyone up to the cleaners as they had a role to play too,” added Tjazapi.
He also said that the awards supplement teachers’ performances and motivate them while pushing for a healthy competition among the educators.
The principal also called on for more sponsors to come on board, as it will stimulate new staff members in their teaching careers.
He added that academic awards contribute to developing the highest quality teaching and learning in schools.
Tjazapi also advised the education directorate through circuit inspectors to introduce these awards at the circuits level as well.