Adult educators could boycott literacy week

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WINDHOEK – A group of unhappy adult education practitioners who yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration at government park over some pending issues relating to their wellbeing have threatened that they will not participating on any official organised events of Literacy Week celebration today.

The group under the banner of Teachers’ Union of Namibia (TUN) yesterday vowed not to partake in any of the Literacy Week events because their demands have apparently not been met by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture regarding their salary grading. 

The unhappy adult education officers feel they are treated unfairly compared to their colleagues in formal education.  Speaking on behalf of the group, Ndinelao Nekongo said they demand that all education officers without further delay placed in their rightful levels as per the Personnel Administration Measures (PAM) which is Grade 8.

“Adult education officers are education officers who have to be placed in Grade 8 and without discrimination like any other position within the government for example, director, PS,” Nekongo noted.

They want an immediate instruction to the regional directors that the contracts of the promoters be extended to the end of February 2019 as opposed to the illegal 10 months contract. This they say has robbed the promoters of a lot of benefits and caused uncertainties and is recipe for slavery.

Equally, they demanded the current promoters that are being paid N$3 800 remain at the salary and that situation only be rectified upon the commencement of the new contract in 2019. Nekongo said they want the debate on the three years contract for promoters to commence with immediate effect because the Public Service Commission is being blocked by the lack of response from the permanent secretary in education, arts and culture ministry Sanet Steenkamp. Steenkamp was not available for comment.

“We demand that an inclusive curriculum review panel set-up without further delay, the postponement to next year is a clear sign of laziness and unwillingness,” Nekongo said.

The unhappy practitioners called upon the ministry of education to “stop fooling” them with the so-called report to the Office of the Prime Minister titled “Report on the investigation of operation of the section adult continuing education program at the regional directorates of education, arts and culture in Namibia.”

They feel the said report has become rhetoric without any meaning but a shell for them to hide.
They further want that all unlawful deductions from the education officers be stopped with immediate effect and all the money deducted be refunded within 30 days.

Their petition was received by education ministry’s deputy permanent secretary for Lifelong Learning, Arts and Culture Veno Kauaria who promised to hand it over to the relevant authorities. 
She however thanked the group for their peaceful manner during their demonstration.