By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
IN a country plagued by social perils such as unemployment and poverty, the Rukonga Vision School has proved to be a beacon of light for those in need.
The school which is situated in Divundu opened its doors in 2013 and provides quality secondary education for children from previously marginalised backgrounds from all four corners of the country.
Since its inception, the state-of-the-art school has become one of the top performing schools in the region with stellar pass rates, especially for its matriculants.
“A vision school is a state-of-the-art institution and a secondary school that is built to benefit previously marginalised children who would not have had access to high quality secondary education. The concept Vision School is driven from a Presidential Commission report on Education and Training of 1998 and ETSIP Plan of 2006 which mandated Namibia and the Ministry of Education then to establish comprehensive school or model schools in all 14 regions of Namibia,” Charles Kabajani, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education explained.
He added that the main purpose of the school coined around Vision 2030 is to provide high quality teaching and learning, as well as fostering unity in diversity of the nation’s children.
During the 2014 academic year, the school recorded an impressive 80 percent pass rate (for learners who scored between A-D, with the former being the lowest grade a learner needs to pass), leaving only 20 percent of the learners scoring between E-U grades.
Noting the favourable results, Kabajani explained that his Ministry was focused on constructing and opening a vision school in the Ohangwena Region in the next two years.
“Vision schools are expensive to establish as the Ministry has discovered. The Ministry of Education is however determined to establish one more Vision School in Epembe Circuit of the Ohangwena region in the next two years. Taking the cost into account has compelled the Ministry to establish vision schools by upgrading one existing school in each region that will be run on the vision school philosophy,” Kabajani noted.
He also added that the current vision school started off as a project to model the concept of effective schooling by establishing some key principles of effective schools whose good practices could be disseminated to other schools in the country.
Meanwhile the Principal of the school, Moses Ngorengesho, stressed that his school worked hard to fulfil its core functions as a feasible pilot project to raise the standard and quality of education in the country by ensuring the staff are fully aware of their mandate, provide a clear mission and provide operational guidelines on daily activities of the school.
“We create a strict plan of action that has to be followed strictly throughout the year, provide necessary support staff (including staff developmental sessions), provide relevant teaching material (including ICT) and ensure that o u r standards are maintained. In short we empower our teachers with relevant teaching tools, provide knowledge and understanding of our intentions and integrate teaching and discipline management,” he explained.
Learners at the school are also monitored and evaluated through formative and summative processes bi-weekly, termly and through end of the year tests and exams to ensure that set tasks are achieved and standards maintained. A total number of 417 learners are registered at the school for the current financial year and they all board at the hostel.
In the 2015 academic year, the school surpassed its 80 percent pass rate (for learners who scored between A-D, with the former being the lowest grade a learner needs to pass) increasing it to 89 percent for the grade 12 learners, while the percentage for the grade 10 learners for the same grades increased to 96 percent.
Ngorengesho explained that the school’s strengths lie in the fact that they carry out all the plans they make for the school, and while most other schools put guidelines in place and regulations like they do, those schools lack enforcement to carry them out. He also noted that this has made them pacesetters in education in teaching, learning and school management.
The whole school is comprised of orphans and vulnerable children, who are fully funded by the Government. The teaching and support staff are recruited from different regions of the country and from SADC, making them wealthy in diversity of experiences, culture and values.
“The more vision schools dotted around the country the more models are set and so more schools will emulate them. This will improve teachers and learners attitudes, beliefs and performance in education. There will be more outlets and quality graduates who will drive the economy of the country in the future,” Ngorengesho concluded, endorsing the idea of having of more vision schools in the country.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015