Namibia has no protocols in place to identify, diagnose and support learners with special education needs (LSEN), a report on the Namibian Examination and Assessment System Review has revealed.
The report commissioned and released by the education ministry in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) early this month recommended that policies relating to inclusive education need to be enhanced.
The review assessed how the performance of children has developed over time and analysed how continuous assessment is performed at schools, and the relationship it has with national examinations.
According to the report: “Teachers are not sufficiently trained on inclusive education and the lack of specialist knowledge and skills of most teachers at mainstream schools regarding LSEN means that learners’ problems are not formally diagnosed.”
It further indicated that life skills teachers are often responsible for diagnosing and referring learners with special education needs, despite having limited training in that role.
Access to resource schools is also a challenge, especially in rural areas, while teachers are often unaware that there are special examinations for LSEN.
Such learners are left to fend for themselves as they are subjected to mainstream examinations where there is often no hope of them passing, the report stated.