The Minister of Education in Namibia, Dr David Namwandi made an announcement late last week regarding the long awaited changes to the education system. Of special interest is the extension to the number of years in which mother-tongue instruction will be offered.
According to The Namibian, a local newspaper:
“Mother-tongue instruction will be introduced from pre-primary to Grade 4 level, with a transition to English in Grades 5 to 6 to allow children to cope with English as the medium of instruction further along.”
This means that there will be five years of mother-tongue instruction and two years of transition to English as medium of instruction. The current education system has three years of mother-tongue instruction and one year of transition to English.
Amongst changes to the Namibian education system is the change to the structure of the school phases, making pre-primary compulsory and moving grade 7 to the secondary phase; free secondary school education will commence in 2016 (free primary education was introduced in 2013); and vocational subjects will get a stronger emphasis to provide learners with more career options.
This is a step in the right direction and hopefully the learners will bear the fruit thereof, especially learners in the lower primary phase, who will have a longer period to learn in their mother-tongue. A positive impact on the quality of their reading is expected.
For more information, please read the full story in The Namibian
Blog post written by Ms. Pamela February from University of Namibia