Every year should be the year of academic reckoning
By Hilya Nghiwete
Exams, tests and a national curriculum all help in Namibia’s quest to create, young, well-educated individuals that are ready for tertiary education. An exam can be seen as a moment of academic reckoning. Rightly so, time, money and lots of education from different stakeholders has gone into educating our youth. Including the time and effort that the youngsters put in themselves. Passing exams, moving to the next grade or academic opportunity is a rite of passage we want every pupil to experience.
However, if we look at the full-time level of Grade 12 learners this year that sat exams, only 39,3% (8 632) of the 22 091 candidates who enrolled for 2017 qualified to enter institutions of higher learning. This is disconcerting and should worry us as a nation.
Namibia is a young country, a nation with definite ideals, plans and goals for its future. These plans have been widely communicated by our ambitious and well-respected President. Dr. Hage Geingob. From Vision 2030, the National Development Plans and the Harambee Prosperity Plan there’s a blueprint for our success as a nation. Education lies at the very heart of this blueprint and prosperity for us as a nation.
The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF)is intrinsically involved and vested in the educational process in Namibia and has a stake in the results of the both the Grade 10 as well as the Grade 12 learners. Especially the Grade 12 results, as this tells us and how many students we can expect to apply and qualify for tertiary institutions. Further pursuit of an academic career is what we hope the youth will be able to achieve and NSFAF, through Government enables the financing of the academic careers of individuals.
Looking at 2017’s results we can certainly say that this has been a year of Academic Reckoning. Just as our nation’s President has stated that 2018 will be the year of reckoning for his own Cabinet Ministers, all the way down the line in every civil service job, we too need to realise that we have reached the Year of Reckoning. Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa even said so during the announcement of the Grade 12 exam results in January 2018.
NSFAF is there to assist financially in the pursuit of tertiary education, but you need to earn the right to access to tertiary education. Your Grade 12 results are the best way of qualifying for financial assistance in the pursuit of further education. A sure-fire way to make sure that you qualify for financial assistance of some sort is to be the best. Be the best in your subject, be the best in school, be the best in your district or even in the whole region. Don’t settle for less and achieve the grades that you want, need and deserve to study what you want.
Therefore, NSFAF urges you to focus on your studies. Be part of the new Namibia and help achieve the ambitious plans for our nation. It requires sacrifices, but the long-term gains and rewards will be immense. Gaining a place at a tertiary institute to study and having the financial burden alleviated because you qualify for financial assistance due to your scholastic achievements is definitely worth it. What is more, NSFAF is in your corner, helping the best of the best succeed where it matters. Your academic year of reckoning can pay off with access to finance through NSFAF and a place at a tertiary institution, studying what you always dreamed of.
However, opportunities are limited and certain fields of study receive preferential treatment. So, take a long hard look at your grades, your attitude towards studying, your life-goals, ambitions and possible career path and make a roadmap to achieve your dreams by starting to be the best you can be academically. Successfully completing the Academic Year of Reckoning with good grades should be your focus. If in doubt, ask your teachers, friends and family to rally round and support and assist you in achieving your goals. Namibia needs dedicated students that will be high achievers in the Academic Reckoning and NSFAF and the nation is ready to invest in them.