THE ministry of Education, Arts and Culture says the overall goal of the revised curriculum is to meet the demands of the Namibian society and keep abreast with international trends, despite complaints of it resulting in high failure rate.
Responding to questions, the ministry’s Central Information Office said that the basic education reforms were initiated to contribute towards the realization of Namibia Vision 2030 of which the goal is to make Namibia a developing country with a literate and knowledge-based society.
Furthermore, the curriculum was reformed by cabinet directives on the outcomes of the 2011 National Education Conference and the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).
The ministry of education last year defended the revised national curriculum.
The curriculum shall provide an opportunity for diversified growth, learning and development for a healthy sense of self-responsibility.
The ministry said learners will obtain knowledge, skills-based education, values and attitudes they need in real life to further their studies and live a meaningful life in a democratic society for the senior secondary phase.
However, the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) stated that the new revised national curriculum does not benefit all people. Te opinion of the TUN was that it results in a high failure rate.
The TUN further expressed concern on how the local universities are going to deal with learners who will be exiting from the revised national curriculum.
Although the revised national curriculum was implemented in 2015, TUN says the education system was not prepared to implement the new changes in the curriculum.
“Unions were engaged at different levels just the same way as all stakeholders. On national levels Unions were invited to NIED and a presentation of the proposal was done and discussed,” said the ministry in their responds.
While on regional levels consultations and discussions were conducted, regions invited representatives from teacher unions, student representatives, parents and learners, religious leaders, school boards- members and representatives from the private sectors as instructed by Head Office to insure inclusivity on regional level.
The ministry also claimed that unions and institution were asked to further invite representatives from the ministry for update and discussion at their appropriate time and NANTU and other institutions made use of that.
Late year, inspector of education for the Onathinge Circuit in the Oshikoto Region, Naemi Amuthenu, said she was concerned about the long distances Grade 10 learners have to travel to school as the direct result of the recently introduced new curriculum that removed Grade 10 from combined schools.
Amuthenu stated that most of the learners are now traveling distances of up to 10 kilometers to the nearest school for senior secondary due to lack of hostel accommodation at the school.
“Some of those learners are forced to rent in shacks. Birds in the lions’ den. Becoming someone’s wife and performing poorly as they lose concentration,” said Amuthenu.
The Chief of Ombalantu Traditional Authority Oswin Shifiona Mukulu noted that the removal of Grade 10 led to schools being far for the learners and parents are left to make provision of finding shacks for their children and some find themselves sleeping with older men in order to get proper shelters.