Namibia: Omusati Orders Grade 9s to Repeat

THE EDUCATION directorate in Omusati region has ordered all Grade 9 pupils who were initially promoted to Grade 10 for the 2020 academic year, to repeat the grade.

The directorate said this is due to overcrowding at secondary schools in the region as pupils scramble for limited Grade 10 places.

A circular issued to all inspectors of education and school principals in the region last Thursday, stated that the directorate is experiencing a serious challenge of space for Grade 10 for the current academic year.

"School principals in the region are therefore urged to facilitate such information and ensure that learners and parents have received this communication," states the circular.

Laban Shapange, the director of education in Omusati region, when contacted by The Namibian, could not divulge much information regarding the circular that was issued by his office, as he said he was still on leave.

He, however, said he was not aware of such a circular. "I am not aware of anything, hence I cannot comment on anything because I'm still on leave. It could be that the resolution was passed on while I was still on leave. I'm not aware of anything," said Shapange. Sophia Ashipala, the acting education director could neither confirm, nor deny issuing the circular, saying that she is not permitted to talk to the media.

"Why are you asking? I do not know and I'm not allowed to talk to the media," said Ashipala, before she hung up the phone.

As of this year, the new school curriculum for junior and senior secondary school makes the Grade 9 certificate equivalent to the old Grade 10 certificate.

This year's Grade 9 pupils would be the first to sit for the junior secondary school examinations.

Pupils who pass Grade 9 would therefore proceed to the ordinary senior secondary curriculum in Grade 10 with the final examinations in Grade 11 for ordinary level.

That examination would enable pupils to get an ordinary school leaving certificate which they can use to enrol into tertiary institutions provided that they pass with the required marks.

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