Nghipondoka warns against the use of so-called performance-enhancing drugs

Stefanus Nashama

The Minister of Education, Arts, and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka, recently addressed concerns during a radio interview about the use of drugs by some learners in an attempt to improve their performance in national examinations.

Nghipondoka expressed her concern, revealing that her office had received reports of learners resorting to drug use with the belief that it would enhance their thinking abilities during exams.

“My office has received reports of some learners taking drugs before exams, thinking it would help them think better and score more points, which can actually worsen the situation,” she said.

Highlighting the issue further, Nghipondoka also pointed out that some learners had fallen victim to alcohol consumption and spent their time in drinking establishments, which had negatively impacted their academic performance.

The minister cautioned learners, emphasizing that there is nothing to gain from using drugs or consuming alcohol, apart from sabotaging their chances of success.

She stressed the importance of discipline among learners and their respect for schoolwork, stating that without discipline, a Namibian child’s education is at risk.

“Learners should prioritize important things and avoid alcohol and drug use, as these can only lead to personal destruction and academic failure,” she reiterated.

In addition, Nghipondoka called on parents to play a more active role in monitoring, guiding, and supervising their children. She suggested that parents should thoroughly check their children’s schoolbooks, engage in open communication with them, provide necessary school supplies, and discourage them from frequenting places where alcohol is available.

The minister questioned the wisdom of allowing a child to consume alcohol before going to school, as it would undoubtedly hinder their ability to concentrate in class.

Nghipondoka also emphasized the need for police involvement in conducting unannounced searches in schools to ensure that learners do not possess any dangerous substances.

“We collaborate with the Namibian Police Force to conduct surprise searches in schools, and these searches often yield concerning discoveries,” she said.

Nghipondoka acknowledged that some parents and guardians may harbour jealousy towards other people’s children, which might deter them from providing guidance and support to children, not from their own households.

She emphasized the importance of preserving school resources and encouraged learners to complete their textbooks instead of leaving them behind when advancing to the next grade.

“Learners can still use the same books from the previous grade, which can help them identify and correct their previous mistakes,” she advised.

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