Teachers re-evaluate teaching methods to enhance learner performance
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture earlier this week launched a three day National Conference on Agriculture, Biology and Life Science Subjects Performance for teachers and education officers in Windhoek.
The three-day conference took place from 30 August to 1 September at the Safari Court Hotel and it was attended by experts in the field of Natural Sciences (Agriculture, Biology and Life Science), these included subject teachers, senior education officers, lecturers from local tertiary institutions like UNAM, NUST, IUM and NAMCOL.
The objective of the conference was to interrogate the current status of teaching and learning in these subjects, share best practices and to take resolutions that will pave the way forward towards the improvement of teaching and learning outcomes in the above mentioned subjects.
Speaking at the conference the Directorate programmes and quality assurance director Edda Bohn, outlined that, the performance of subjects such as Mathematics have improved vastly since it became compulsory however performances in English has gone down over the years. It was also revealed that the education ministry has set a 33% pass rate target for Grade 12 English this year, this is the same as last year. “If the trend is too low, you cannot set a huge target which you cannot achieve. We are trying to keep a balance and be realistic” Bohn said.
In her official address at the event, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Hon. Katrina Hanse-Himarwa shared “I am very humbled by this gesture from the educators who are keen to know as to why the performances in these subjects are stagnant and not to our satisfaction. It is high time that we take stock of our contribution towards the success of this Ministry.”
The Minister also noted that, subjects like Biology and Agriculture took the back seat and as a result did not get their fair share of attention and resource allocation adding that the ministry has made great strides in improving and strengthening Mathematics and Physical Science.
Furthermore, Hanse-Himarwa said the analysis of the current status in schools was done through a survey to find out more about the possible root causes that may be hindering good performance in these subjects. “This survey also confirms the need for us to pay attention to the following areas to enhance teaching and learning in all the school subjects: Upgrading of teacher qualifications to match the levels they are teaching; upgrading teachers content knowledge in specific subjects of their specialization; suitable placement of teachers in their area of specialization; providing adequate resources and learning support materials; exposing teachers to innovative ways of improvising to cope with the practical components of the syllabi etc” she stressed.