The Namibian Constitution provides for free education till the age of 16 or until completion of primary education.


English is the official language. During the lower primary schooling the medium of instruction is based on 12 different home languages, with English for the rest of the school and university career.


Children are supposed to start primary education at age 6, but some only start school at a later stage. Seven years of primary education plus 3 years of secondary education leads to a Junior Secondary School Certificate (also called Grade 10 ) . Subject to certain exceptions, Grade 10 cannot be repeated through formal school, and learners may end up in the non-formal education sector. After successful completion of 12 grades the learner is awarded the Senior Secondary Certificate qualification which can be either the International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE) or the Higher International General Certificate of Education (HIGCSE). IGCSE exam papers are set and marked in Namibia, but moderated by Cambridge. HIGCSE question papers are set, marked and moderated by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.



IGCSE grades: A B C D E F G

Equivalent points: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

HIGCSE grades: 1 2 3 4

Equivalent points: 10 9 8 6

Minimum entry requirements for the University of Namibia is a pass in five subjects with 25 points on the point table, obtained in not more than 3 examination sittings. Score is calculated by adding the points of the 5 best subjects. English is compulsory and should be obtained at IGCSE (as a second language) grade C or better or grade D or better as a first language. If a specific subject is a pre-requisite for that faculty, that subject must also be one of the five subjects counted.

University of Namibia website address:

General admission to the Polytechnic of Namibia is based on completion of Grade 12 or equivalent with a maximum of 6 qualifying subjects with a score of at least 25 points on the evaluation scale.

Polytechnic website address:

VOCATIONAL TRAINING is provided by 6 vocational centres in basic technical skills. Certificates (N1 – N6)


Completion of Grade 10-12 is assisted by the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) which provides face to face and distance education after office hours.

HIGHER EDUCATION is mainly provided by the following Namibian institutions: 4 Teachers Training Colleges, 3 Colleges of Agriculture’

1 Police Training College, 1 Polytechnic and 1 National University.

Admission requirement is IGSCE/HIGCSE.

Certification - Polytechnic of Namibia and Agricultural Colleges:

Certification - Polytechnic of Namibia and Agricultural Colleges:

It is basically a 2-year continuation of National Diploma and is more practical oriented. Admission requirement is a 3-year National Diploma.

Offered in Nature Conservation and Agriculture. Planning to implement this in Accounting field as of 2001.

Basic Education Teacher’s Diploma is a 3-year study for all teachers in Basic Education (Grade 1-10). Secondary School teachers are trained at the University of Namibia.

Classification: Grade - Interpretation - Mean % - Classification

A, distinction, 80 & above, first class

B, very good, 70 – 79, upper second

C, good, 60 – 69, lower second

D, satisfactory, 50 – 59, pass

Admission requirement: Bachelor degree or National Diploma. The duration is 1 -year university.

Admission requirement is a Bachelor degree/ Postgraduate Diploma. Duration: 1-3 years. Can be of two types:

  1. research and writing of a thesis
  2. coursework study, followed by written exams, and then research and writing a thesis

Admission requirement is Master’s degree or equivalent and duration is 3 to 5 years.