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Parent's Review of Windhoek International School in Windhoek, Namibia

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

Windhoek International School

In what town or city is this school located?

Windhoek

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

HIGCSE curriculum

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Pre-K thru 12 (11th & 12th grades just recently added)

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Private transportation (personal car)

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

Windhoek International School (WIS) describes its facilities as "purpose-built." The facilties are outdated, small, uncomfortable, poorly planned, and lacking aesthetically. There is no cafeteria or inside common area for students. The library is inadequate in both size and selection. The gymnasium has a very low ceiling, resulting in every basketball distance-shot (or volley-ball) bouncing off the ceiling. Extra-curricular activities are very limited. Often, activities are canceled due to lack of venue, interest or support.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

Unfortunately, this HIGCSE curriculum is vastly different from the American curriculum. This difference, coupled with low-caliber teachers who are poorly motivated, results in a difficult transition from my home country to Namibia. WIS is years behind the U.S. curriculum, particularly in math. It was necessary to have my two children tutored in order to keep them current with their American peers.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

Social activities are limited to mainly fund-raising, to make up for the critical budget deficit. Communication between teachers, staff and parents is almost non-existent. There is a PTA, but is not supported very well.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

There are not many educational choices in Windhoek. WIS is clearly the most expensive school in Namibia. In fact, I understand it is less expensive to board children in South Africa than to attend WIS, and tuition is increasing substantially at WIS each year. Another negative indicator is that many school board members have recently resigned, and withdrawn their own children from WIS. The WIS student/teacher expat population is rapidly declining. As a result of our dismal experience with WIS, we made the difficult decision to allow our children to attend boarding school. I would seriously recommend that people avoid the schools (particularly WIS) in Windhoek. If you must move to Windhoek, I recomend that you consider either homeschooling or boarding school outside of Namibia.

Expats living in Namibia interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Namibia interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Feb 1, 2011 15:11

Wow! Well stated.

guest
Jun 9, 2011 15:09

Most of what is written here is not true. Or it was written a while back. But the school now is much improved. There are some parts in this that are true. But honestly most of it is outdated.

guest
Jul 24, 2011 19:24

This review closely parallels our family's frustrating experience with WIS’ secondary level. We pulled our child out of WIS and placed him in an American boarding school near Geneva. After examining WIS' academics (high school level), the American boarding school required that our son repeat that grade, as it was determined our son received inadequate instruction that year at WIS. Based on our own abysmal experience at WIS, as well as the numerous concerns expressed by other expat parents in Windhoek regarding the poor academics at both the primary and secondary levels, I recommend that parents avoid WIS.

guest
Jul 25, 2011 13:18

Vastly true! In the seventh grade my daughter was one of two students who could perform the task of long division. Her first day home from class she brought home math homework requiring her to round to the nearest hundredth! I am so glad we made a family decision for her to relocate to a boarding school in Joburg (some great schools there that are not too far away from Windhoek) as there is no telling how poorly WIS would have prepared her for the SAT.

guest
Aug 2, 2012 00:05

Good Review although amazingly I am studying with some American students here, Berkleys (College), and they are struggling to keep up with the course work e.g. maths and I did attend my secondary schooling in Namibia, i guess in the end the problem with over priced private schools is that children tend to have too many rights and never want to listen, that is not the teachers job to raise your child!! it's more like if you don't care about your life i don't care about your life there are other pupils that need my help for extra with ADD go see a psychologist that is my take on the matter. There are catholic schools that do really well but they are in the bush and western children usually do not fare very well there since there are too "many" rules. Some government schools will do e.g. WHS

guest
Sep 3, 2012 09:50

When was this review written? As a parent whose child has completed the IBDP in 2011, I am utterly shocked by this. With regard to the facilities - this is the only school in the country that has Smart boards in all of its classes, the only school that has moved with changes in technology to enhance teaching and kept up with it. Not even some the universities in Namibia has the technology this school has. Secondly - the curriculum: WIS does not offer HIGCSE but IGCSE and the IB Diploma Program in secondary. A lot of its students have been accepted at universities in Europe, the US and in South Africa. My niece and many of the friends who finished in the University of Cape Town - the university that is officially rated as the no. 1 university in Africa. My son has been admitted to a highly accredited university in Canada. I hope many of the satisfied parents, who can actually prove the writer of this review wrong, read this and respond to it because this review was clearly written by one ill-informed person. Please go on the schools website for updated information.

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