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Know your civil servant - Moulding minds with empathy

2022-11-18  Staff Reporter

Know your civil servant - Moulding minds with empathy

In addition to being a disciplinarian, every teacher is required to have a good measure of empathy – that, plus a passion for his work and dedication to the call of duty. 

One does not need binoculars to notice that Celestino Sakasa Antonio is at home in his profession. He is a teacher at the Kayengona Combined School, located in the Rundu Rural constituency. 

Oddly enough though, being a teacher was not his initial aim. However, being a civil servant in any other profession was. 

Antonio completed matric at Romanus Kamunoko Senior Secondary School in 2016, which led to his enrolment for a Bachelor of Education Honours Degree at the Unam Rundu Campus. He obtained this qualification in 2021. 

Before becoming a teacher, Antonio says, he worked as a volunteer for the Namibia Red Cross Society, as well as a youth advocate for the boy child. 

He is also a member of the non-profit organisation, Young Achievers. Antonio is interested in moulding minds in classrooms and building foundations for the young ones. 

“I am a physical science and mathematics teacher. Apart from teaching, I am the circuit regional coach and adjudicator,” he says, revealing he joined the ministry of education in his current capacity.  

“I wouldn’t say it was my dream to become a teacher, but I always hoped to work for the government but in a different arena,” Antonio revealed.

But since he stepped into the classroom, he has seemingly never regretted it for one day. 

“I am a teacher. And as a teacher, my responsibilities include planning, teaching, classroom management, evaluation and assessment and extramural involvement,” he said.

Being empathetic towards his learners, Antonio cites that the most challenging part about his job – in the rural areas – is that learners still walk for long distances to reach school and that at times they come to school hungry, which makes it hard for them to focus. 

This has a bearing on their performance in class. 

“These learners are not able to focus or pay maximum attention – and as a result of learners’ performances dropping, as a teacher, you will be rated low,” he lamented.



However, his job comes with its fair share of rewarding moments, he said, the most satisfying of which is the fact that he does what he does – effecting change.

“The most satisfying thing about my job is the fact that every day – as a teacher – I am impacting change in someone’s life. That, as well as the personal growth opportunities that are available in the ministry of education, such as training, workshops and conferences – to mention but a few,” he says.

Thanks to his expertise, he says, he is able to meet all his obligations and fulfil his tasks, as required, which, in his view, is beneficial to the government.  

“The most memorable moments are when I see my learners get good grades; I am also proud of the training I have attended under the MOEAC,” he said.

These are training, such as the one on capacity-building for adjudicators, The Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SAECMQ) and the Digital Skills foundation course, which is still underway – to mention a few.

“Furthermore, being a regional debate coach, and taking part in science fairs under NCRST, through the ministry of education, where a grade four learner at my school received an award at a regional level, was also a profound moment for me,” he added.

Antonio loves the holidays, he said. These are his favourite aspects about the job, he said, “followed by the allowances, such as housing, transport and remoteness”.

He strongly disagrees with the perception that government employees are lazy, saying every organisation has its internal policy that governs the work the employees do – and that if the team leader, for example, the principal, is unable to control his/her staff, then the institution will pay the price. 

“However, one cannot deny that there are certain individuals who are incompetent; thus, it should not be generalised,” he added.  


Loving it

Antonio revealed he is yet to determine when he will leave public service, as he is enjoying his work, and is satisfied. 

“I enjoy my work, and I am satisfied with this job,” he said.

He further revealed his wish is to become one of the best teachers in the country as a professional goal. 

Personally, he said, he wishes to further his studies up to the master’s level.  

“I am optimistic that only through education can one grow intellectually,” he maintained.

2022-11-18  Staff Reporter

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