Albertina Nakale Windhoek The Khomas Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture has cancelled 75 teaching vacancies from the initially advertised 409 vacancies, despite the pressing need to recruit more qualified teachers in Namibia. Schools and regional education directorates are left with no option but to recruit unqualified teachers on a temporary basis to fill the high demand for teachers, which contributes to over-expenditure due to the payment of separation perks to these temporary teachers. These cancelled vacancies include 19 heads of department and 56 teaching posts. This comes at a time when the government had just announced that over 2 500 teaching posts are up for grabs following immense pressure from students led by Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) secretary general Mahongora Kavihuha to release the delayed annual Teaching Vacancy Bulletin for 2018. In an interview with New Era on Friday, the public relations officer in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Absalom Absalom, said the cancelled vacancies were wrongly advertised and they had to be re-advertised. “These posts were already advertised and interviewed for while others are filled by qualified individuals and were already in the system during the exercise resulting from the formal education circular of addressing the staffing norms, overstaffing and understaffing,” Absalom noted. The ministry thereby apologised for the inconvenience caused to applicants of the cancelled vacancies. “There is no implication, as the correct process of how to deal with the situation has been duly followed as per regulations,” he said. More than 150 University of Namibia (Unam) Khomasdal campus student teachers in October took to the streets demanding that the ministry release the bulletin of teaching vacancies for 2018, saying the delay will send them on the street - swelling the high unemployment rate in Namibia. Therefore, the future of these students, most of who are in the final year, is now once again bleak since the cancelled posts directly affect the Khomas Education Directorate. It was after the students’ demonstration, the ministry announced in October that a total of 2 569 teaching posts will be advertised in the annual Teaching Vacancy Bulletin for 2018. “The Teaching Vacancy Bulletin 2018 has been approved by the Secretary to Cabinet and will be made available to the public through various newspapers and digital platforms as from Friday, 3 November and not Tuesday 31st October as previously indicated,” the ministry said in a statement. Of these, 79 posts are for principals, 198 are for heads of department and 2 292 are for teachers. At the time, Absalom said the abovementioned teaching posts have been identified as critical and hence the need to be filled so as not to compromise the teaching and learning processes. He said it should be noted that 119 of the 2 569 to be advertised have been newly created, due to pressing needs, whereas the remaining 2 450 posts are currently occupied by temporary teachers whose contracts will come to an end with effect from 31 December 2017, thus rendering the posts vacant. The closing date for the application of teaching positions was 17 November 2017 and for principals and heads of department, it was 1 December 2017. The vacancy bulletin is normally released round July every year to allow sufficient time for a seamless recruitment process.
New Era Reporter
2017-12-18 08:50:27 10 months ago