THE inspector of education for the Onathinge Circuit in the Oshikoto Region, Naemi Amuthenu, is 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 said 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.
Before the review, the secondary school phase consisted of Grade 8 to 12 with Grade 8, 9 and 10 designated as the junior secondary phase, and Grade 11 and 12 as the senior secondary phase.
Under the revised curriculum, the junior secondary phase consists of Grade 8 and 9, with Grade 10 having been moved up to the senior secondary phase.
Deputy Minister of Education Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka, responded to Amuthenu’s concern saying that, the ministry kept on expanding their curriculum to make sure that children moved from home to school, while those senior secondary schools were only a few with hostels.
“Now that Grade 10 has become senior secondary, you cannot go out asking that every school offering Grade 10 to be a senior secondary school. It is impossible. It will also not be viable in terms of teachers and materials resources we will not cope,” said Nghipondoka.
Nghipondoka stated that the ministry instructed its directors and inspectors to identify some central schools in communities where they can have both a junior and senior secondary school which was done.
However, the reality, Nghipondoka said some of the learners that were affected by the transition are forced to move instead of walking 5km they walk 10km or even more going to another school, a problem faced currently by the ministry.
She admitted that the ministry is concerned about lack of infrastructure which includes classrooms to accommodate learners.