THE Ministry of Education yesterday instructed schools to promote learners who failed Grade 10 last year after they could not meet the grade in English despite having obtained 23 or more points.
In the past, learners who obtained the required 23 points or more but obtained a G grade in English were considered as having failed.
However, Education Deputy Minister David Namwandi yesterday announced that such pupils must be promoted to Grade 11 and be given support to improve their performance in English.
A total of 33 428 full-time pupils wrote the Junior Secondary Certificate examination in 2012. Out of this number, only 17 407 qualified for admission to Grade 11 while 16 021 did not qualify.
From those who did not qualify, 17 learners obtained 23 points but failed English with a G grade. "These learners are eligible to be transferred to Grade 11. Schools are hereby instructed to register these learners in Grade 11," Namwandi said.
In the past such pupils had to get an improved English grade through the Namibian College of Open Learning before their promotion to Grade 11.
Namwandi said his ministry is committed to creating spaces in schools to allow some of those learners who did not obtain enough marks for promotion to Grade 11 this year to repeat the grade.
"Those learners who are 17 years of age now and those who are younger than 17 years should consider repeating on full-time basis. That number is sitting at 2 780. The ministry is committed to create spaces in the schools where they were before to repeat through the respective regional directors of education," Namwandi said.
The 3 128 pupils who obtained a total of 13 points or less, which Namwandi termed as "unacceptable low levels of performance", are urged to explore opportunities in the vocational sector, specifically the Community Skill Development Centre which has space for 2 000 pupils.
It is a vocational training centre that provides competency-based skills training to various communities throughout Namibia - primarily for youth and the previously disadvantaged groups - to assist them in participating in economic development activities.
Namwandi advised the 7 436 learners who obtained between 14 and 19 points in their six best subjects to enroll with Namcol to improve in the weaker subjects.
"In addition, those who would be interested to opt for a vocational career would have the opportunity to enroll in a bridging programme at the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) scheduled to start mid-February. This bridging programme also enables them to pursue a vocational career," he said.
There are 5 457 learners who achieved total points between 20 and 22.
Namwandi said experience showed that these learners usually do not opt to repeat full-time, but rather pursue one or two subjects in which they performed poorly through Namcol. "This option is more advisable compared to repeating full-time," said Namwandi.
He added that no matter what their choice, they should commit fully to that and work harder to develop their skills and talents in areas where they can give their best.
"They should go for it with a positive attitude and passion, since we know where there is a will there is a way," he said.