THE Executive Director of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Sanet Steenkamp has stated that the structure of the revised curriculum was wittingly set up to minimise dropout rates by removing the exit point, which was the old Grade 10.
Steenkamp further explained that the Senior Secondary phase, which is the new grade 10 and grade 11, is a two-year course leading the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO).
The ministry has indicated that with keen interest, the concerns of the public regarding the matter will eventually fade as most of it is rooted in a lack of understanding of the new system.
She said the implementation of the revised curriculum commenced in 2017 and 2018 for Grade 8 and 9 respectively, which is the Junior Secondary Phase. The revised curriculum for Grade 10 was implemented in 2019 and subsequent thereof is the implementation of the revised curriculum for Grade 11 in the current year, 2020.
Steenkamp added that there are available options for learners to continue with part time studies over the next two years because of the content gap between the old curriculum and revised curriculum.
The ministry has further advised that all concerned candidates complete their education in the curriculum in which they started.
“This will provide the students with a more competitive advantage as they will stand a better chance to complete their secondary qualification with their current knowledge base, as opposed to starting with a new curriculum that would require learners to master new content to which they have not previously been exposed,” noted Steenkamp.
Option two candidates may return to the mainstream full- time schooling if they have been part of the 2019 cohort of candidates who sat for the Grade 10 par-time JSC examination to return to grade 10 in 2020, as the first year of their Secondary Phase.
She lastly said that candidates who were unsuccessful in full-time studies in 2018 could be 3 years senior to those learners of the current Grade 10. This could pose a menace of serious psychological and social consequences for all learners involved, she noted.
Secondly, she said, due to the removal of forced exit points, more learners are progressing and this places some considerable strain on the already limited resources.