IN Response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning, the National Examinations, Assessment and Certification Board (NEACB) approved the lowering of minimum promotion requirements for learners in Grades 1 to 9 from 40% to 35%.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture the Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp said the new relaxation of promotion requirements replaces the policies in the National Promotion Policy Guide for Primary of 2015 and the National Promotion Policy Guide for Secondary of 2018 and is valid for the 2020 academic year only.
“The new promotion requirements are applicable to all Government and Private Schools registered with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and offering the Namibian curriculum, unless written permission has been obtained from the Executive Director to deviate from it,” Steenkamp said in her statement.
The new curriculum intends to provide the standard for learning progression without repetition, during the Grade 1 to Grade 9 years of schooling. Should it happen that a learner does not attain the grade level expectation, meaning the class teacher (Grades 1-3) or subject teachers (Grades 4-9) in consultation with the promotion committee is absolutely convinced that a learner would not benefit from progressing to the next grade, such a learner should repeat that grade. A Learner may only repeat twice in junior primary phase, twice in the Senior Primary phase and once in Junior Secondary phase.
“In such instances parents or guardians must be kept fully informed as to why it is necessary for their child to repeat a grade and what modalities will be in place at the school and in the classroom to ensure that learners achieve the necessary competencies or objectives, and how parents will support learners at home.”
According to Steenkamp’s statement learners that do not progress to the next grade must receive counselling to help them understand their situation and must receive learning support focussing on the competencies or objectives which they did not achieve.
“Each teacher must take responsibility for ensuring that learning has taken place in his or her class. Learning support provision starts with the class subject teachers and teachers are obliged to document all steps taken to assist each learner in an effort to ensure that competencies and objectives in that subject or grade are achieved.”
Steenkamp said periodic assessment of the impact of the learning support provided, must be conducted, documented and filed.
“Learners who are at risk of not progressing to the next grade must be identified as early as possible and interventions in the form of learning support provision must be offered by the class or subject teacher.”
Steenkamp said that should such a learner progress to the next grade in 2021, a summary of all learning support provided with a brief on the learner’s academic challenges must be given to the next grade or subject teacher in order for continuous learning support to be provided.
Besides the temporary lowering of passing requirements the education ministry urged all schools in Namibia to implement an academic recovery plan in order to make up for lost time brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The recovery plans should include the time available, depending on the mode of reopening chosen by the individual schools, and the necessary steps that must be taken to ensure the completion of the rationalised curriculum and an assessment thereof,” Steenkamp urged.
Detailed information pertaining to the revised promotion requirements as it is laid out in Circular: Form ED8/2020 can be found and downloaded from http://www.moe.gov.na/files/download or from the ministry’s social media platforms.