THE education ministry has announced that school exams will mostly likely commence in the middle of the 2021 school calendar as learners will most likely only be allowed to go back to schools on 3 August this year following the outbreak of COVID-19.
This was revealed by the minister of education, Anna Nghipondoka, at the 3rd information session on going back to school amidst stage 2 of the lockdown.
The minister stated that 1,504 schools need support from regional offices in terms of subsidies for provision for masks, hand sanitizers and liquid soup, as well as running water, to cope with COVID-19.
She, however, stated that a total 1,702 schools have been provided with funds for COVID-19 measures.
Nghipondoka further stated that more needs to be done in terms of the rolling out of E-learning, as well as education packages to marginalised learners.
When asked about whether or not she has visited informal settlements such as Havana in Windhoek to witness the plight of learners who are especially disadvantaged by digital technologies, Nghipondoka said that she has.
“Yes, I go to Havana regularly. I know the schools in Havana. Access to E-learning is handled in the same way for all schools that do not have access. Some printed learner packages have not reached all children, however, this is an ongoing process and we are working on it,” Nghipondoka stated.
Also commenting on the matter, Sanet Steenkamp, permanent secretary of the ministry of Education, noted that all final guidelines relating to E-learning and school education in general will be released by Friday.
She added that currently, there are 206 private schools and government pays N$10.7 million for teachers in the private sector.
She added that in addition, the ministry caters for 16 000 children enrolled in community hostels and pays N$ 22 per day to each learner.
She added that a total of 62 000 children countrywide are supposed to be in hostels and are currently not at schools and may not access alternate learning packages if they do not have access to E-learning.
“We are calling all stakeholders to identify these children so that the education ministry may provide these learning packages,” Steenkamp said.
She added that with regard to funding, of private schools during COVID-19, the issue of equity remains a concern.
Albeit the fact that all public servants had to return to work on 6 June, teachers have been given a grace period to return to their schools physically by 11 May.