IT is the end of the academic calendar for pre-primary, primary and secondary school learners in Namibia. It was a year with contrasting experiences for learners at different schools. It was especially a very difficult year for learners in rural areas who continue to receive their education in makeshift structures and in the worst cases under trees. It was equally difficult for our brave teachers in rural schools who sleep in makeshift structures at schools making them fall prey to snakes and other poisonous reptiles and insects.
We applaud teachers who have put in an extra effort to ensure that their learners master a sufficient number of competencies for them to be promoted to the next grades, as well those teachers who worked very hard for their learners to qualify for admission to tertiary institutions. We equally applaud learners who have taken it upon themselves to register at institutions such as Namcol to improve their points so as to qualify for Grade 11 and to garner enough points for them to be admitted to tertiary institutions.
To the parents who have kept an eagle eye on the progress of their school-going children and had given schools adequate support to ensure that the schools score good results, we equally say, thank you. We know that at the end of this year we will have learners who do not make it to the next grade, thus we appeal to these learners to critically inquire into the possible causes of this. They must then come up with strategies on how to remedy these so that they can make it next year.
We equally request the school managers and teachers to critically inquire why their schools did not do well in the final results so that they can design and implement strategies that will gradually help them attain the desired results. To our students at tertiary institutions, both locally and abroad, we understand the year was very tough too. We noticed so many challenges that you faced, especially with the process of releasing funds, yet you kept your trust in the responsible directorate.
We thank you for your cooperation. We urge those that have completed their studies not to go sit at home and wait for jobs, but rather to take up initiatives to create job opportunities to fight the burden of high unemployment in the country and to be contributing citizens towards the economic development of our nation that can guarantee us the attainment of Vision 2030.
We encourage these graduates to empower themselves by taking advantage of their skills in their areas of expertise to enhance productivity in the different economic sectors. Those enrolled in the field of education, the education sector is faced with many challenges, including a shortage of teachers, especially competent and young teachers, therefore we urge you to take up your studies seriously and go take over the reins from aging teachers.
Remember studying without effective knowledge capturing is dangerous. We appeal to students to study to know rather than studying to complete the study programme to have a qualification to enter the job market. The qualification is just a certification of your skills and expertise in the respective area of study, but performance and delivery in the job market complements your qualification. Knowledge is power, and nobody can take it away from you.
We also appeal to the business communities in our communities to visit schools in their areas of business to see how they can effectively contribute to better working conditions and improved teaching and learning environments for both teachers and learners.
This is part of their social responsibility. As mostly the profits they make come from these children's parents.
The holidays are long and you (learners) will have a lot of festivities where you might encounter negative influences. SPYL requests you to avoid negative influences and always visualise your dreams.
Stay away from alcohol, drugs, and bad friends as these often lead to criminal activities and teenage pregnancies that might spoil your future. A nation with educated (informed) persons is a successful nation.
SPYL wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2013 academic year.
• SPYL Department of Education, Sports and Culture