79% of Namibian Grade 11 Students Miss the Tertiary Cut-Off

According to The Namibian, over the last four years 79% of pupils who wrote the Grade 11 national examinations have not qualified to proceed to tertiary institutions or Grade 12. This was revealed by education, arts and culture executive director Sanet Steenkamp.

The Namibia Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) released the Grade 11 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) and Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) 2023 on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

“We have 8 134 Grade 12 full-time candidates who wrote the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) level, while 944 part-time candidates have registered for exams,” Steenkamp said.

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s director of national examinations and assessment, Clementine Garises, celebrates progress done up to date.

“When we started in 2020, 18,5% qualified. The syllabus was new. It is a revised syllabus where Grade 12 content has basically moved to Grade 11.

“That’s why the value of ordinary level remains the same. In the second year of implementation, it moved to 18,8% – a slight improvement.

“That was the time we had Covid. After that third year, it was 21,4%. And now we are at 25,2%. Is that not progress?” she says.

Garises says the implementation of the new curriculum has, however, not been easy.

“Covid has caused a backlog for our children who were already in the system. Until 2020’s Grade 1s have been phased out of the system, we will still struggle with those issues,” she says.

The Namibian writes in 2021, 38 160 pupils did not qualify, which represents 81,2% of the 46 977 who wrote the examinations. Garises says she is confident this percentage would increase to 50% in five years’

However, youth leaders from the Landless People’s Movement’s (LPM) Youth Command Element, Duminga Ndala and Utaara Mootu, have voiced their discontent with the recent educational outcomes. They have directed criticism towards the government, particularly the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, regarding the Grade 11 and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level results.

During a press conference, Ndala and Mootu articulated their concerns regarding the Ministry’s perceived shortcomings in the education sector. They emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive analysis before the implementation of new curricula. 

The youth leaders highlighted the importance of a thorough review of the education system, urging the government to prioritize initiatives such as enhanced teacher training and evaluation, the improvement of school infrastructure, and the allocation of adequate financial resources.

The NSSCO (Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary) and NSSCAS (Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary) examinations serve as pivotal assessments evaluating students’ proficiency across various subjects. 

The outcomes of NSSCO and NSSCAS examinations assume a critical role in the educational landscape of Namibia, commanding attention from educators and policymakers alike.  

With the release of the 2023 examination results, stakeholders in education are set to carefully examine the data. The goal is to identify trends and opportunities for educational progress, promoting ongoing improvement in the education system.

Naango Kainge


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