17 August 2018

Namibia: Education Explains New School Curriculum

As of next year, the new school curriculum for junior and senior secondary schools would have pupils who pass Grade 8 this year entering Grade 9 where they would from now on sit for the Junior Secondary school examinations. The new curriculum makes Grade 9 certificates equivalent to the current Grade 10 certificate.

Those who pass Grade 9 would now proceed to the ordinary Senior Secondary curriculum in Grade 10 with final examinations in Grade 11 for ordinary levels. That examination would bestow upon learners an ordinary school-leaving certificate with which they can enrol into tertiary institutions provided they pass with required marks. Grade 12 would be another qualification on its own, where learners who have passed Grade 11 with C symbol in subjects would enrol for the advanced level certificate being offered in Grade 12, explained Dr Hertha Pomuti who is the Director of the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED). There is no longer high-level examination for Grade 12 examinations.

It is because of these new changes in curriculum that Cabinet approved that learners who fail this year's full-time Grade 10 learners and are under 17 years will be allowed to study the new junior secondary curriculum in Grade 9, the last grade of junior secondary phase, and sit for the semi-external examination at the end of Grade 9 in 2019. Those above the age of 17 who would like to improve their Grade 10 symbols will be offered an opportunity to enrol for tuition through part-time institutions registered with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and write Grade 10 national examinations as part-time candidates in October/November 2019. Learners above the age of 17 who will not register for Grade 10 national examinations as part-time candidates in October/November 2019, will be allowed to register with part-time institutions for Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) or Higher as first-time takers in 2019, to take three subjects each year, over two years. Cabinet also directed full-time learners who are above the age of 17 who will not register with part-time institutions for NSSCO or Higher as first-time takers in 2019, will be allowed to register with part-time institutions for new NSSCO taking three subjects each year as from 2020.

This brings closure to the widespread confusion among parents, guardians and learners as to what will happen to those who will fail Grade 10 this year, but are under the age of 17 who in the past were allowed to repeat the same Grade.

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