The Ministry of Education has availed an opportunity to 2 501 Grade 10 pupils who had failed last year to return to school this year as full-time pupils.
These numbers have dropped by 785 compared to last year when 3 286 pupils repeated grade 10 full-time. The repeating pupils then forfeit the points they had obtained during the previous year’s Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examinations.
“As it has become the custom for the Ministry to allow candidates who sat for the JSC Grade 10 examinations and have not met the promotion requirements to grade 11 to repeat in the formal education (full-time) stream, this year the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has put mechanisms in place to address the plight of these learners”, Ministry of Education spokesperson Johanna Absalom said in a media release.
This opportunity has only been availed to candidates who are 17 years and young. Learners who did not meet the requirements for promotion to Grade 11 (between 0 and 22 points) and who are 17 years of age or younger on the first day of school, are allowed to repeat Grade 10.
Learners in this category are eligible to repeat that grade preferably (but not necessarily) at their former schools on a full-time basis. They may also repeat on a part-time basis, if their school of choice can accommodate them, or alternatively may opt for registering at NAMCOL or part-time institutions registered with the Ministry.
The learners who did not meet the criteria as they are older than 17 years were told to consider enrolment with NAMCOL or part-time institutions registered with the Ministry to improve their results in one or more subjects.
“The Ministry would like to urge learners in this category to work hard to achieve the required points before they reach the age of 21 to be able to continue with grade 11 on a full-time basis. Meanwhile, candidates who were enrolled at NAMCOL and have obtained the minimum required points for admission to Grade 11 but are over the age of 21, are advised to enrol with NAMCOL until they complete their secondary education”, Absalom explained.
Alternatively, learners who are interested in vocational careers are asked to register at the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) through the Namibia Training Authority as well as COSDEC’s to improve their skills in vocational education and training. This year, 37 441 fulltime Grade 10 candidates registered for the national examinations.
The Ministry has kept since the year 2000 the minimum points at 23 and F grade as a minimum symbol in English for admission to Grade 11 in 2015. Out of 37 441 candidates who registered for the Grade 10 examination in 2015, 20 318 have qualified for admission to Grade 11 in 2016, representing 54.3% of the candidates who have qualified for Grade 11.
The ministry said during the marking process, 82 Grade 10 candidates might have had a form of assistance in Mathematics, Physical Science and Keyboard and Word Processing, but the matter will be investigated as soon as possible for a better solution.
The number of candidates qualifying for admission to Grade 11 in 2016 might increase to approximately 23 318 because part-time candidates build up subject credits over a couple of years, and normally meet the admission requirements for Grade 11 only after a number of years.
On average, since 1993, the percentage of learners qualifying for admission has increased steadily from 37.2% to 54.3% this year.