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After 21 years still no ‘Ingrish’

Dear sir,
A staggering 98% of Namibian teachers cannot read, write and speak English well enough. When I read this in the newspapers, I consoled myself with: ‘This was long overdue”. It has to pass. In Africa, political analysts say, “Things stay the same until they fall apart”. I am not shocked by the teacher test results and the learners’ previous results because I have lived in a shocking environment – and I might be permanently shocked.
When a society finds courage to invent the soft words such as “promoted”, “not promoted” and “automatic promotion”, to replace the words it views as sensitive, namely “pass” and “fail”, that means educational problems have become normal and part of (African) life. When a government and society pride themselves for passing (“promoting”) half and failing (“not promoting”) half of the countries’ Grade 10 learners, then something must be terribly wrong.
Consider what was reported in 2010. ‘Grade 10 results were described as “better”’. Why? Because 53% passed and 47% failed. That was 280 students more than in 2008. The serious problem, including critical and logical thinking, is that we normally and naturally compare our performance against the worst and not the best performers.That is a national crisis and an international scandal and embarrassment.
Without torturing the already condemned and vulnerable teachers any further, I will avoid citing more figures about which part of the country performed worse than other regions.
Steven Mvula
Human Rights Activist

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