Zambezi’s holiday school attracts over 3 000 pupils

HOLIDAY SCHOOL … Over 3 000 pupils from 20 rural and urban senior secondary schools in the Zambezi region attended the holiday school which concluded on Friday. Photo: Lugeretzia Kooper

The Zambezi regional education directorate says over 3 188 pupils participated in a holiday school aimed at improving the region’s performance in the national examinations this year.

The region ranked tenth in the 2023 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) exams and eighth in the National Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) exams.

Over 200 teachers volunteered for the vacation school, whih was ongoing for the past two weeks at 20 senior secondary rural and urban schools in the region.

Regional education director Alex Sikume, responding to questions sent by The Namibian on Friday, noted that the holiday school is only one of many strategies in place to return the region to its former glory of ranking among the best performing schools.

He said of the 3 188 pupils, about 491 were AS candidates.

“Despite several interventions over the past few years, the progress remains marginal and there is much desire to do more in order to realise significant improvement in national examinations for grades 11 and 12.”

Sikume said the vacation school stands out as a more effective strategy, with teachers from different schools sharing better practices in terms of examination preparation techniques and familiarisation with examination question formats in all subjects. “All activities are aimed at understanding and not rote memorisation,” he said.

Sikume added that in terms challenges, the holiday school initiative is not fully supported by the line ministry due to budget constraints.

“We really struggle to get funding for this programme. Therefore, it would be great if our stakeholders in the region, even beyond the borders of the region, came on board and supported us more, especially with meals for the pupils and stationery. The main challenges include lack of photocopying paper, toner, chalk, writing pads, transportation of pupils and limited accommodation at centres, including mattresses, he said.

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