GOBABIS: Omaheke Regional Education Director Nathalia Goagoses says the frequent absenteeism of teachers has proven to be one of the biggest problems hampering learners’ progress in the region.
In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, Goagoses said the rate at which teachers stay away from classes is worrying, and defies the region’s good intentions to improve the performance of learners.
“A teacher would be absent from her class for two or three consecutive days. When the specific teacher returns, he or she will be wielding a doctor’s certificate stating that she was booked off sick. In some cases it may be true, but be as it may, learners would have lost out on a huge amount of work nonetheless,” she noted.
The Regional Education Director said giving the maximum possible attention to learners ought to be any teacher’s prerogative, and teachers should as such do their best to make sure such efforts are exerted.
Goagoses added that parents are also to blame, as they often do not put a lot of effort into the education of their children; often leaving such responsibilities squarely on the shoulders of the teachers.
She said such trends were especially evident in cases where learners are asked to carry out projects with the assistance of their parents, as most learners would return to school with incomplete projects.
“I always emphasise that education starts at home as that is the place where the child is most at ease. I do therefore not understand how some parents can just turn a blind eye to the education of their children and yet, expect them to perform well. Who is going to help that child if you don’t do your part?” Goagoses noted.
She also had a tongue lashing for learners, whom she said were not taking their studies seriously as they are often involved in unruly conduct. She singled out the Wennie du Plessis Secondary School at Gobabis, where the performance of learners has gone down drastically and many are disciplined for unruly behaviour.
She said some children at the school, which was once the toast of the region, have at times been caught abusing alcohol or turning up drunk for school afternoon study sessions.
“We all need to work hard to turn things around here. Each one ought to do his or her part,” she said.