By Henry Chibulu WINDHOEK The Government says it is seriously addressing the shortage of teachers for mathematics and science subjects that dogs most schools, particularly in the northern part of the country. The Director of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education Etambuyu Mbuye told New Era that Government has since signed a bilateral agreement with Zimbabwe to help address the problem by training Namibian nationals in that country. She said currently some 600 Namibians are undergoing training through a Student Assistance Scheme initiated by the Government. "We choose to train our nation in Zimbabwe because it's near and we don't need to transport them by air," said Mbuye. She said the Government has realised that the shortage of mathematics and science teachers in junior and senior schools has affected learning and believes this is not healthy for the development of the country hence the intended scheme to promote human resource development. "Mathematics and science teachers are in high demand but we hope to reverse the situation after the graduation of some of the students especially those in Zimbabwe," said Mbuye. Apart from the training of teachers in Zimbabwe, Namibia will soon despatch a team of 100 students to Cuba for post-secondary training in various courses especially veterinary science, tourism, science and technology. She added that locally the University of Namibia has equally increased its enrolment for mathematics and science teachers in a bid to remedy the perennial problem. The HIV/AIDS scourge that has hit most sectors of the economy has not spared the teaching fraternity causing a serious shortage of teachers. She accused the colonial masters of being responsible for the present shortage of mathematics and science teachers, stating that blacks were deliberately not taught these subjects by the regime that on a racial basis questioned the intelligence of blacks. "Our traditional chiefs were discouraged by our colonial masters on grounds that mathematics and science were difficult subjects for blacks,'' she said. She added that it was only after independence that the situation started changing.
2006-07-27 00:00:00 12 years ago