21 April 2017

Namibia: Schools Expel 96 Over-Aged Repeaters

TWO schools in the Kavango East region have expelled 96 over-aged Grade 10 and Grade 12 repeaters. Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero told The Namibian yesterday that the expelled pupils were attending Shamangorwa Senior Secondary School and Mayara Combined School.

He also said the pupils were expelled on 6 March after it was discovered that many of them were repeating grades they failed as far back as 2006.

The Namibian also understands that many of the expelled pupils had already registered for the examinations, but Kapapero said the directorate of national examinations would be directed to remove their names.

Kapapero said 21 pupils were expelled from Mayara Combined School, while the other 75 were expelled at Shamangorwa Secon-dary School, all from Grades 9 to 12.

"Some of the learners failed Grade 10 but were readmitted in Grade 9 because apparently these schools want to prepare them well.

"There are so many other pupils who want to repeat Grade 10, even people from the 1990s want to come back but we cannot admit them," Kapapero said.

"We must put a stop to this kind of practice. My office is expecting a full investigation report from the inspector's office by Monday [next week] before we decide on what course of action to take against the two principals. "My suspicion is that these schools are taking in more pupils because the more pupils a school has, the more money they are given under the Universal Education Fund," said Kapapero.

He also said he met with the administrations of the two schools on 10 April and warned them that such practices would not be allowed.

Mayara Combined School principal Belinda Katembo said her school sent home 15 Grade 10 and six Grade 9 repeaters. Katembo also said she was not aware that those in Grade 12 were repeating when they were enrolled.

Shamangorwa Senior Secondary School head Godfried Mayira could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Namibia National Teachers' Union chairperson in Kavango East Lucas Mbangu told The Namibian yesterday that although it was not their mandate to get involved in such matters, the expulsions disturbed him.

"I'm touched by the plight of these learners. Their lives and future are in danger. I'm not saying that the regional office should allow them back in school, but they should find a solution on how best to handle this situation," said Mbangu.

The education ministry's policy says that pupils younger than 17 years should be allowed to repeat Grade 10 while those above 17 on the day of the application should not be readmitted, but should be referred to the Namibian College of Open Learning instead.

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