By Kaleb Nghishidivali
ONGWEDIVA, August 28 — The growing rate of academic underachievement in Namibia has sparked significant concern among the youth, as emphasized by Ongwediva Junior Mayor, Simson Uusiku. Uusiku raised these worries during the official launch of the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair.
Uusiku pointed out that the country has witnessed a surge in failure rates over the past two to three years, with recent outcomes from the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) and Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) examinations being notably unsatisfactory. This trend, in turn, narrows the prospects available to potential students.
One of the chief contributors to this issue, as Uusiku underscored, is alcohol and drug abuse. While recognizing the commendable efforts of the police, social workers, and concerned individuals in tackling this challenge, Uusiku noted that their impact has not been substantial enough. The consumption of alcohol and drugs negatively impacts learners’ minds, hampering their cognitive abilities and intellectual memory retention. Consequently, learners struggle to concentrate and perform poorly in their academic pursuits.
Uusiku acknowledged the government’s strides in furnishing public schools with essential resources for students and educators. However, meeting individual demands remains an ongoing challenge. Inadequate resources in schools, including limited learning materials and internet access, hinder students’ capacity to conduct research and access a wider array of online information.
Moreover, the lack of effective career guidance contributes to academic underachievement. Without proper guidance on potential vocations and life paths, learners might engage in studies devoid of purpose, leading to aimlessness and diminished motivation.
Teachers also wield significant influence in addressing high failure rates. Uusiku expressed gratitude for their dedication but highlighted that when teachers are not effective, learners face considerable setbacks.
The ramifications of elevated failure rates cast a shadow over Namibia’s growth and development. A scarcity of skilled workers could hinder progress toward achieving Vision 2030. Furthermore, if only a limited number of students can access tertiary education, the tertiary sector may grapple with workforce shortages. A surge in school dropouts due to academic failure could elevate unemployment rates, particularly in the informal sector, ultimately contributing to increased poverty and crime.
To counter these challenges, Uusiku proposed several solutions. Urgent attention should be directed toward tackling alcohol and drug abuse by establishing rehabilitation centers in all regions. These centers would offer an avenue for learners to overcome substance addiction while providing counseling and emotional support. Stringent control measures and legal consequences should deter possession of illegal substances.
Equipping schools with proper teaching aids, including projectors for enhanced learning, should also be prioritized. Uusiku underscored the significance of offering comprehensive career guidance to enable learners to find purpose and drive in their studies.
Addressing the high failure rate necessitates collective action from the government, educators, and society as a whole. By heeding these suggestions, Namibia can pave the way for a brighter future for its youth and cultivate a robust educational system that empowers individuals for success.- Namibia Daily News