• October 18th, 2018
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Namibian education can be rescued

DESPITE negative criticism and many shortcomings such as poor teacher participation, poor management structures, disciplinary problems, overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of schools, classrooms and resources such as libraries, a lack of resources such as school libraries and laboratories and little parent participation due to work and socio-economic circumstances, I still remain optimistic about the future of education in Namibia. I too will always remain a proponent of a large budget allocation for education, but we could also look at alternative means of spending it. According to media reports, there is a dire shortage of trained teachers in Namibia. The end result of this worrying state of affairs is for the Ministry of Education to recruit unqualified and foreign teachers to fill vacancies. By releasing the unqualified and under-qualified teachers from their duties to attend teacher upgrading courses will definitely cause even more disruption in the already overcrowded classrooms. It is also a known fact that the Lower Primary and also Upper Primary phases are the foundations of education. It is thus absolutely imperative that teachers in these phases are adequately trained for maximum implementation so that we do not have to depend on the transfer system to get learners to grades 10 and 12. How can teachers be encouraged to upgrade their skills? Could they not be encouraged by offering incentives to do distance learning courses? Could the University of Namibia not perhaps step up their campaign to reach teachers regarding distance-learning opportunities? The pass mark for mathematics is only 30%, but learners are not doing well in the subject which is compulsory. All learners cannot master pure mathematics and for a learner to repeat a grade because of failing mathematics is a bit harsh. More emphasis on problem solving by mathematics teachers is very important as it can be used by learners in life in general too. Could the education authorities not possibly consider mathematics literacy as a subject for learners? As an ardent proponent of extra-learning support, I believe that extra-learning support in especially English and mathematics is essential. A holistic approach to education is important and if a learner fails to qualify to register at a tertiary institution, there is still an alternative and that is to register at a vocational training institution. Vocational training offers students the opportunity to obtain much-needed skills to enter the job market or to be self-employed. Let us not blame each other but rather recognize our failures and take hands as stakeholders in education and move forward. If we are really serious to assist in improving the standard of education in Namibia, we have to start at the bottom to blow new vigour and enthusiasm into our schools and further-training institutions. Finally, let us motivate our children and learners to reach for their dreams. Motivation is very important for both teachers and learners. Alvin Erlank Retired teacher
2015-02-20 09:01:20 3 years ago
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