The Mini-conference and workshop was a thumping success ! There were nearly 70 participants and many of them from the Secondary and Primary Schools in and around Windhoek.
The Conference kicked off with the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr. Tjama Tjivikua, giving the Welcome Address. He stressed on the importance of imparting proper English to our students. "But it is also necessary to develop our African languages, we should not forget our tradition," he stated. The first Keynote speaker was Dr. Dolores Woolfaardt who has been associated with the Examination System in Namibia for the past twenty years. Quoting figures from trace studies she has conducted over a period of time, she said that students who get a "C" symbol in Grade 10 of IGCSE, generally slip to two grades below their original one in HIGSCE, that is, Standard 12. Therefore, the secondary school teachers have a great reponsibility to prepare students for the tertiary level.
The Deputy Minister of Education, honourable Dr. Becky Ndjoze-Ojo graced the occasion with her presence and in the afternoon she delivered her Key note address where she emphasised the need for networking and encouraged all school teachers to become NETA members. She congratulated NETA for the good work that we are doing.
Over the two days there were four plenary sessions presented by Ms. Cynthia Murray who spoke about Rubrics; Dr. Tara Elyssa who presented on Grammar errors and how to improve students performance; Dr. Marna Broekhoff who explained to teachers the importance of writing and different kinds of writing across the curriculum and Dr. Sarala Krishnamurthy who elaborated on Classroon assessment techniques which could be used by teachers to evaluate themselves for self improvement.
All four plenary sessions were followed by workshops where the teachers had an opportunity to try out whatever had been described in the plenaries.
At the end of the activity, the teachers were asked to evaluate the sessions. There was also a General Body Meeting where new Executive Committee Members were elected.
All the teachers have evaluated the conference and workhsop as "Excellent/very good". The evluation forms also include what the teachers would like NETA to do in future.
We would like to encourage all English Teachers to join NETA.