Windhoek – The Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) director Heroldt Murangi has disclosed that a total of 9 356 subject entries were not written in the Grade 12 national examinations last year.
The director, who yesterday analysed the part-time candidates’ national results for Grade 10 and 12, said the situation of learners not sitting for their exams has also been observed for the Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC).
Further, he said, some learners have a tendency of entering for the exams but fail to submit their continuous assessment (CA) marks throughout the year.
“The results will look bad because learners don’t go and write their exams. These statistics are important as they cause a negative perception as to what we do as an institution. Learners don’t write their exams, but who gets the blame? It’s us as Namcol, it’s never the learners,” he remarked.
A total number of 4 638 subject entries were not written for Grade 10 in 2016.
In 2016, Namcol entered 11 109 JSC and 27 227 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) learners for the national examinations. In total, 38 336 candidates sat for the national examinations.
“We are happy to inform the nation that we were very happy with the JSC results, but unfortunately not excited about our Grade 12 results. What is of concern to us is the number of subject entries not entered in the national examinations. I don’t think we will change the situation if we don’t encourage our learners to sit for the examinations in the subjects they have registered for,” Murangi countered.
In total, 30 016 (58.7%) Grade 12 part-time candidates entered for the exams, of which 27 227 were Namcol learners.
Full-time learners were 21 104 (41.3%). Namcol represents 91 percent of the total part-time population because only 2 789 came from private institutions.
“The huge gap in learners in itself is posing some challenges to institutions taking care of part-time candidates,” Murangi said.
Some of the subjects where the learners got incomplete results in Grade 10 included life science (830), English second language (663), agriculture (719) and geography (609).
Grade 12 incomplete results included English (1 781), biology (1 245), mathematics (1 137), development studies (1 239) and physical science (882).
Murangi raised concern that many learners register with Namcol simply because they do not want to stay at the village, hence they tell their parents they registered in Windhoek but fail to sit for the exams at the end of the year.
He therefore cautioned parents that it is not just enough to pay for their children’s enrolment, but also important to constantly check up on their studies until the exams.
According to him, there could be other factors that contributed to the decline of performance of Grade 12 learners, but the biggest concern is learners registering but not sitting for exams.
The NSSC results show a poor performance at all grades ranging from A* to G.
The ungraded entries increased from 21.2 percent in 2015 to 21.5 percent in 2016.
Murangi revealed that the graded entries decreased from 78.8 percent in 2015 to 78.5 percent in 2016. Further, he said the higher grades (D grade and above) decreased from 20.4 percent in 2015 to 19 percent, which is a decrease of 1.4 percent.
“This is not a good picture at all. This needs concerted efforts from all stakeholders if we want to see a completely different picture with the 2017 learners,” he urged.
Additionally, he said, in 2015 the combined higher grades (D and above) for JSC and NSSC stood at 23 percent, and that is the baseline set by Namcol’s five-year strategic plan (2016-2020).
For 2016, he said, Namcol committed itself to increase the performance at higher grades by 5 percent to 28 percent, saying they were closer meeting that target for Grade 10 since 27.1 percent of the subject entries were recorded at D grade and above.
For Grade 12 it remains below 19 percent.
He said Namcol has set itself a target for 2017 to achieve 33 percent for higher grades.
“It is possible to achieve this target if we join hands and work even harder,” he noted.