Sanet Steenkamp, education executive director, dropped a bombshell at the beginning of the academic year when she sent out a circular on the future of learners who completed grade 10 part-time under the old school curriculum last year.
These learners would not be eligible to return to state schools under the new senior secondary curriculum implemented this year, the circular stated.
“Any learner who completed part-time JSC grade 10 in 2019 will not be admitted to return to school as a full-time enrolled learner for grade 11 in 2020.
“More so, such learners will not be allowed to change into the revised senior secondary curriculum offered full-time at schools,” Steenkamp's circular stated.
After reaching out to the ministry for more details about this decision, My Zone received no response.
Although it is the perspective of senior ministry staff that learners should complete school in the curriculum they are familiar with, many parents wonder if this would push more learners to the streets as many tertiary institutions require grade 12.
Namibian Sun excerpt
“Learners who were successful in improving their Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) results in 2019 will not be able to return to full-time schooling for grade eleven as they are still part of the old curriculum which has been phased out and hence not offered at school as a full-time course.”
Steenkamp also announced that the current grade 12 National Senior Secondary Certificate would be phased out by the end of 2021.
The Landless People’s Movement’s Student and Youth Command Element (SYCE) called a press conference where it objected to the ministry’s decision.
The appealed to the government to rethink the decision in the interest of the young people whose lives will be directly affected by it.
“We want to strongly condemn the ministry and their decision to exclude the grade 10 learners. The government is depriving these children of a chance for an education. It is unfair to even think that this is the plan forward,” said SYCE chairperson Joyce Muzengua at the Unam main campus.
The LPM youth wing believes that the streets will be full of children who wanted to study but failed to reach the threshold.
They said the government should work with institutions like Namcol to offer grade 10 on a full-time basis so that no one is left behind.