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Education ministry defends examinations’ credibility

The Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) and the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate examinations (NSSC) are of high quality and are credible, said Alfred Ilukena, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, this week.
Responding to concerns raised by members of the public on the preparation and marking of the national examinations, Ilukena said the examinations are of a “high stake whose integrity and credibility is guided closely by the Ministry of Education through the rules and regulations employed in all its activities.”
He said that the Ministry is open to criticism, provided that it is constructive and following the correct channels.
“Providing uninformed statements to the public could mislead the nation and damage the credibility of our national examinations and qualifications. The Ministry would like to assure the Namibian nation that there is a set of well established procedures in place in the administration and conducting of national examinations. These procedures ensure that candidates are not unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged in any way,” Ilukena said.
He added that the NSSC examinations are accredited by an internationally recognised body to ensure that they are conducted at internationally acceptable and advanced assessment standards.
The NSSC results are released only after Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) has approved them and are satisfied that the Ministry has complied with all the requirements with regards to the administration of the examination, the marking of the answer scripts and the processing of marks.
“An official of CIE visits the country every year for this purpose. This is done under the principles that support educating and assessing a Namibian child in the 21st century and beyond, irrespective of whether they are in urban or rural schools,” said Ilukena.
He also encouraged candidates who are not satisfied with their results to apply for remarking through their examination centres.
The remarking process entails marking the candidates answer script again using the same procedures as before and this is usually done by the chief marker.

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