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Letter - Improve education by taking it into the public domian

2021-12-03  Staff Reporter

Letter - Improve education by taking it into the public domian
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In accordance with a cabinet decision of 9/17 June 2001/2014, the government of the Republic of Namibia abolished the mandatory payment of school development funds to schools by
2016. 

This means all public schools, except private schools and Namcol, will not pay any school development fund. 

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s circular to all schools of September 2015 has introduced a fee-free secondary school for parents not to pay school development fees and exam fees for grades 10 and 12. 

Learners in grades 10 and 12 in public schools are exempted from paying examination fees, whereas full-time private school learners and Namcol part-time learners and other part-time learners have to pay exam fees. 

How is this match the free education in Namibia? 

This means the payment of school development fees and exam fees for 10th and 12th grades were somewhat eased. 

Does this holistically mean that Namibia introduces free education from primary to secondary?

Although the majority of Namibia believes education is free from primary to secondary, this is merely an attempt to calculate letters and theocratise numbers. 

One would fail to understand that the exemption from school development and exams fees for grades 10 and 12 makes education free, contrasting the huge educational spending left on parents on other important educational accessories. 

Imagine, education is free but parents have to spend money to buy uniforms, school supplies, bedding for the hostels and other amounts of money to maintain some facilities like the school bus or computer lab.

In the education system, there is daylight robbery; Article 20 (1) of the Constitution of Namibia states that all people have the right to education, sub-article (2) further implies compulsory schooling, and the state must provide adequate facilities to have an effective right to every inhabitant of Namibia by building and maintaining state schools where primary education is to be offered free of charge. 

This means that education in public schools should be offered free of charge, making the further stress of education to be part of the public domain. 

Public domain means “a work of authorship is in the ‘public domain’ if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner”. 

In public schools, private schools and public tertiaries institutions are government-funded with the taxpayer’s money, the vast majority of the country’s government money is spent on education, which is good. 

But we cannot believe that government funds have been used to get expensive textbooks that are not in the public domain. 

Is this what we call free education when all of the books we use in education are copyrighted? 

Why the state does not spend money on making textbooks publicly available so that educational resources can be accessed for free. 

It is a daytime rights robbery when government funds are used on privately owned educational materials. 

Every taxpayer’s money should be used in the public interest. 

Education will not be free if we continue to buy textbooks from private publishers; there must be a public open repository to provide educational resources that are under creative commons for free use.

It is very disheartening to have a prisoner who has all of food, clothes and bedding for free, but a student has to pay for everything. 

It is noble for every taxpayer’s money to be used to build educational resources and to provide free education.


2021-12-03  Staff Reporter

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