Oshana Overcomes Classroom Hiccups

The education deputy director for Oshana Region says admissions for grades 1, 8 and 10 are running smoothly and almost complete.

According to Immanuel Aipanda, all prospective learners in Oshana have already been placed in schools around the region.

“We managed to place our children last year already, now we only have a few incidents of parents knocking on our doors this time of the year looking for placements for their children. Their excuses are deaths of the guardians or relocation due to work. But I am confident we are in a position to admit them all,” said Aipanda.

However, some parents in Oshana are aggrieved at the selection of Grade 11 pupils at various secondary schools in and around Ongwediva.

A concerned parent claimed the selection of learners at Gabriel Taapopi Senior Secondary, the most sought-after school in Oshana, is unfair as the school only selects learners that got 35 points and above in the Grade 10 exams.

“Learners with 30 points or less, they are dumped at Ekwafo Senior Secondary School, which does not perform at all. For God’s sake, Ekwafo! The name tells you that it is a dumpsite. They should at least give our children an opportunity to choose at least two or three schools in the region, other than placing them at Ekwafo,” moaned one parent.

The literal translation of the Oshiwambo word Ekwafo is help or relief.

A parent whose son was rejected by Gabriel Taapopi High School and is now placed at Ekwafo claimed no learner or teacher could perform at a school with such a negative name.

Aipanda said Ekwafo is just a name and the school board and management can change it any time.

Explaining how the admission process works, Aipanda said every school has an opportunity to choose from the list of learners that have applied to the school. Once they have taken the number of learners they are looking for, the list of applicants is then passed on to the next school.

“Gabriel Taapopi is the most sought-after school in the region, it receives a large number of applicants, and they obviously choose the best learners before they pass on the list to the next school. However, Namcol learners are shared between the secondary schools in the region because all schools have contributed to Namcol,” explained Aipanda.

Similar to Oshana, the Ohangwena regional director Sanet Steenkamp said her region was also not experiencing major problems as far as placement of learners in all grades was concerned.

According to Steenkamp, the only problem the region is experiencing is within Eenhana where extra classes for grades 1 and 5 will be established to accommodate all learners.

“We already have budgetary provision for this exercise,” explained Steenkamp.

At the moment, Enyana Circuit in Ohangwena Region has 20 places for Grade 8s and 155 for Grade 1s, which is an indication that Ohangwena is not faced by a learner placement crisis, according to Steenkamp.

Source : New Era