Namibia has an arid climate and is a popular tourist destination, particularly during its dryer months – May to October. The Namib Desert, also referred to as the ‘living desert’ because of the vast and varied living species that can be found there, is a highlight for visitors thanks to its rolling dunes, which are some of the highest in the world. In the north, Etosha National Park’s salt pan is abundant with wildlife including rhinos and giraffes.
For the last 10 years, education in Namibia has been compulsory for children aged between 6 and 16. There are approximately 1 500 schools in Namibia, of which 100 are privately owned. The Constitution directs the government to provide free primary education however; families must pay fees for uniforms, stationery, books, hostels and school improvements.
Secondary education stretches over a period of five years, from Grade 8 to Grade 12. Learners are presented with a Junior Secondary School Certificate after successful completion of Grade 10, and after successful completion of Grade 12, they are presented with a Namibia Senior Secondary Education Certificate. This certification can either be the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education (HIGCSE). IGCSE exam papers are set and marked in Namibia, but moderated by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. HIGCSE papers are set, marked and moderated by the University of Cambridge.
The first school to start using the A.C.E. programme in Namibia was Swakopmund Christian Academy, which opened its doors in 1987. There are now more than 30 schools using the programme, that caters for approximately 1 900 learners. This includes both mission schools, homeschools and established schools.