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Sec schools producing university quality

Sat, 18 February 2017 00:21
by Berny Baisako
News Flash

Namibian tertiary institutions have said that the newly improved secondary school curriculum is producing learners who meet the maths and science admission requirements.

Tertiary institutions have often complained that learners who register for tertiary institutions from secondary school often lack the requirements of tertiary institutions. Unam public relations and marketing officer Simon Namesho said they have observed an improvement in mathematics and science related subjects, in the NSSC results.

“This could be attributed to the improved secondary school’s curriculum, but also to the part that mathematics and science subjects feature prominently as required modules in many UNAM programme admissions – and learners put a strong emphasis in these modules,” Namesho noted. However, performances in English, particularly at rural schools, continue to be weak. The University, generally requires a C-symbol or better in English among five best subjects – and thus, a lower symbol in English continue to hamper many aspiring learners from entering programmes offered at UNAM, he added. “We are hopeful that with continuous interventions from all stakeholders at the secondary school level, performances mainly in the English subject will eventually improve, “he said.

Namesho also said, due to the financial crises the economy faces inevitably, capital projects and the recruitment of new staff have been adversely affected and this is particularly of grave concern as financial challenges hamper development. “Besides the Capital projects and recruitment, student’s debt is also of great concern as the outstanding fees for all students (includes non-registered students) as at 31 December 2016 is one hundred and twenty-nine million four hundred and twenty-six thousand two hundred and eighty-four Namibian dollars and thirty-seven cents (N$ 129,426,284.37) consisting of 12,416 students,” Namesho noted.

Namesho also stated that the three most enrolled courses at their institution are the Bachelor of Business Administration. (Honours) followed by Bachelor of Education (Upper Primary) Maths/Ins and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) as well as Diploma in Accounting & Auditing. Meanwhile, Director of Communications and Marketing of the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) Kaitira Kandjii said, NUST attracts top performing learners from across the country, specifically in subjects such as science and mathematics but the drop our rates are high.

“A number of learners perform below the required standard in these subjects and the dropout rates are high thus, NUST has taken a number of measures to mitigate the status quo with the establishment of the Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (InSTEM) bridging program,’’ he said.

Kanjii further explained, InSTEM is a one year basic science programme designed for students who do not obtain satisfactory results in science and mathematics at secondary level, but wish to pursue studies in programs were these subjects are prerequisites. He added, NUST is inadequately funded and the economic challenges inevitably worsen the situation as a result the Institution’s funding has diminished and this destroyed the foundation of the University, its competitiveness and socio-economic prosperity. Kandjii stated the three programs with the highest enrollments are Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Human Resources and Bachelor of Business Management.

“As a University of Science and Technology, the long-term goal is to increase enrollment in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, whilst still be offering programs in the Business and Human Sciences,” he explained. However Public Relations Officer at International University of Management Mekeloye Nambili stated that Secondary Curriculum indeed produce tertiary quality learners, provided the leaners obtain 25 points or more in their best 5 subjects and a D in English symbol to qualify for a Bachelor Honours Degree , 23 points in 5 subjects and a D symbol in English to qualify for a Diploma, or 20 points in 5 subjects and a D symbol in English to qualify for a Certificate . She further state that for this year Education is one of the most enrolled courses and Over 75% qualify to graduate every year.

"In 2016, a total of over 1,700 students graduated at IUM and received their various qualifications, including doctoral and master’s degrees. The normal registration ends on 31 January 2017 where after the late registration will commence on 01 February till 28th February 2017. It is only then that more the figures on enrolmement will ve avaialbe," Nambili noted.