The school year in Namibia ends in early December with two weeks of exams. I didn’t do much teaching during this time due to teachers reviewing for the exam. Most teachers completed their syllabus in early November and spent the remaining part of the month reviewing. I spent most of my time helping the social studies teacher review for his exam. It was difficult to help with social studies, because the topics are so complex and I am only a beginner in Kwangali, but with the help of some other teachers I was able, to my knowledge, help them review for the exam. Exams here are pretty interesting. They are supposed to be timed, but due to many learners struggling with the language, most teachers allow the students to finish the exam instead of collecting when time is up. The other interesting aspect is that a 30% is passing. Yes a 30%! Now I grew up thinking that a 30% was a terrible grade but many learners here strive for that number and only answer about half the questions because they know that is what they need to achieve. This made it tough to grade their exams as well. I graded the social studies exams for grades 6 and 7. The average score was around a 45% for the entire class. Many of their answers didn’t make sense or answer the question at all. A common theme was to just rewrite the question as the answer and hope it covered something that was correct. Although this was sad to see, it also means that I am here for a reason. I now know where they are, in regards to English, and where I can take them. This is going to be a struggle from the start but I know I have the patience and determination to turn them around. I will keep you all updated as to the progress of my learners.
On a positive note, since I was grading papers I thought it would be fun to post some of the great/funny answers that I found on some tests.
- (Picture of a mountain climber on top of a mountain) Why is footing the main form of transport used in this picture? (Yes that is the real question) Answer: Because footing is used to go to the moon
- Name one factor that affects population growth and change? Answer: Females. (Yea I gave him the point for that one)
- Describe two cultural values that put people at the risk of HIV infection? Answer: Having a sugar daddy and sex work.
- Describe one way of how we can support people living with HIV and AIDS? Answer: Play together, work together, sleep together.