The education fraternity has remembered late higher education deputy minister Veno Kauaria as a “real educationalist”, who served the interests of all Namibians.
The 61-year-old Kauaria died on Friday in a Windhoek hospital from Covid-19 complications. President Hage Geingob, who announced Kauaria’s passing, said her death leaves a deep void in the education sector, which has been her passion for the past three decades.
Kauaria previously served as deputy executive director in the education ministry, and deputy chairperson of the Namibian National Commission for UNESCO, before joining the National Assembly in 2020 as a member of parliament. In April this year, Geingob appointed her as higher education deputy minister.
Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) secretary general Mahongora Kavihuha remembered Kauaria as a nationalist and a real educationalist.
He said she was a person who always admitted where she had limitations on various aspects.
He narrated that when she became a deputy executive director for lifelong learning, she engaged TUN on many things, especially on the re-grading of education officers from grade 9 to grade 8.
According to him, she listened to them when advancing the debate, with the Public Service Commission eventually agreeing to implement TUN’s version. Kavihuha said Kauaria demonstrated she was one of the few educationalists in the education ministry during her time who hardly politicised matters of national interest.
“For the years we worked together, TUN never came across feelings that madam Kauaria had political ambitions, or whether she was a member of what political party.
She served the ministry of education with dedication and minimal, if not at all, showing her political colours and affiliation.
It even came to us as a surprise that she was on the Swapo party list because I know her as an educationalist who hardly politicised education matters. We will miss her in the education fraternity,” Kavihuha stated.
The higher education ministry’s leadership and the entire staff collectively issued a statement on Kauaria’s death. They said she was an exceptional, dedicated colleague as well as a tried and tested educator.
“The passing of Hon.Venomuinjo Kauaria is a painful and terrible loss to our ministry and the entire education sector,” read the statement.
During the Covid-19 national update on Friday, President Geingob also commiserated with families who had lost their loved ones due to Covid-19.
He said the loss of lives has been unprecedented, stressing that Namibia weeps for her dearly departed children.
“We have lost grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. We have lost husbands and wives. We have lost friends and colleagues. We have lost leaders, teachers, mentors. We have lost our frontline workers. We have lost stalwarts of our liberation struggle. We have lost bedrocks of our communities and nation. We have witnessed pillars of strength whittle away in our presence,” he noted.