Minister Higher Education, Training and Innovation (MHETI) Itah Kandjii-Murangi says talent scouting in schools should commence at an early age if the country is to industrialize and have a diverse economy.
She also emphasized the importance of basic education as a building block for higher education.
Kandjii-Murangi made these remarks at the National Information Sharing Day, an annual event hosted by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in the capital this week.
“The building blocks of higher education comes from basic education. And hence this important connection. We also know and they[basic education] know that not all those youngsters who go through the general education system are likely to succeed in the academic stream, hence the need for us as a Government to begin earlier to identify and to assess talents, traits that our youngsters…our learners are talented in.
“So that at all the exit points, Grade 10 which will be Grade 9 and Grade 12, those who exit there would have demonstrated that they are technically inclined. It is important that they are channelled through that route,” said Kandjii-Murangi. Explaining the importance of technical education, the Minister said: “Nations and countries that really made a mark in the area of industrialization, in the area of diversifying their economies are those that expanded, developed and made sure that they open access to tertiary education. Namibia cannot be left behind.”
As such Kandjii-Murangi believes that there ought to be a continuous connection between the ministry of education and the higher education ministry.
“Any country, its education system is connected. To disconnect the education system is actually to confuse it, and hence the need for the two ministries to work together to ensure that there is always proper articulation,” said Kandjii-Murangi before adding that she is currently in consultation with her counterpart, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa regarding the entry points from basic education into higher education.
She went on to say: “When we talk about curriculum, you look at the methods that actually transmit knowledge to the learners.
You look at the degrees that you embed within the curriculum to ensure that there is talent search that goes with what you teach because it is while they are still younger that they express themselves freely and hence the talents comes out too.
“We should not confine them within the formal subjects.
We need to create avenues that ensure that indeed their talents and creative abilities come out as well.”
As part of revised curriculum, Grade 9 will replace Grade 10 as the new exit point to tertiary education or vocational education alongside Grade 12. This is to say, from 2018 onwards, Grade 9 learners will sit for an external national year-end examination and will receive the Junior Secondary Certificate.
In 2018, Grade 10 learners will sit for the JSC examinations for the last time when the old curriculum phases out next year.
Speaking at the same occasion, Hanse-Himarwa said the aims of the new education curriculum was achieve the highest moral values.
She further said: “The aims of the curriculum in relation to developing a caring society are to foster the highest moral and ethical values, co-operation, democracy, tolerance, mutual understanding, and service to others; to develop the learner’s social responsibility towards other individuals, family life, the community and the nation as a whole; to develop and enhance respect for, and understanding and tolerance of, other peoples, religions, beliefs, cultures and ways of life; and to promote equality of opportunity for males and females, enabling both genders to participate equally and fully in all spheres of society.”