Boys’ under-achievement in education a concern: Unam report says

• By Rudolf R. Gaiseb

THE underachievement and under participation of boys in schools is a significant concern and must be urgently addressed.

This consensus was expressed after launching a University of Namibia research report on boys’ school performance.

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The research tracked the performance of Grade 1 to 12 learners between 2012 and 2019 in all 14 regions, covering 4659 secondary school learners, 528 high school teachers, 182 parents and 807 university and vocational training centre students.

Report findings indicate that boys perform poorer than girls in schools and do not actively participate in school work like their female counterparts.

Reacting to the report, Reformed Evangelical Church of Namibia Bishop Lukas Katenda said parents should re-establish their authority and take back their power to lead children on a moral and ethical path.

“The government should be careful; as much as it embraces a liberal democracy, it is sending a strong message when allowing some Western ideas. While enabling everyone to practice their religion, stick to the people’s religion—support boys through programmes like religious and moral education,” Katenda said.

He added that the church must enforce its purpose as a sacred establishment of spiritual development and introduce progressive programmes that will occupy young people, especially boys.

According to the report, boys distract themselves from school work, withdraw from learning activities, engage in drug and alcohol abuse and other self-destructive activities, and later drop out of school.

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Research team leader, Professor Roderick Zimba, said girls have performed better than boys at the tertiary education level over Namibia’s last 33 years of independence.

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