Thumbs up for education budget
It is only right for the Ministry of Education to receive the lion share of the national budget, says independent economist, Klaus Schade. The education sector received N$9.4 billion.
“It is important to invest in the educational sector because without a properly educated population, Namibia will not make any significant strides towards achieving Vision 2030 and reach a higher standard of living,” said Schade.
He added that when the government builds new schools, hostels, teacher accommodation, the facilities must be maintained.
Schade further emphasized the importance of investing in education saying it is essential for developing the country’s industries further as it allows for the development and invention of new products, apply new technologies as well as increase the country’s competitiveness.
He said that education remains the cornerstone for future development and education is the best equaliser.
“Even children from poor backgrounds can be successful professionals if they have access to quality education,” Schade said.
He added that there is no quick fix for the problems faced by the sector.
“It is probably the most complex sector as it starts with early childhood development (that falls under the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare) and ends with adult education,” Schade said.
He added that if the focus is only on tertiary education without laying the foundation in early childhood the country will not get the expected results and that if the focus is on early childhood development, pre-primary and primary education, without training the teachers and educarers in tertiary education, there won’t be any progress either.
Schade said that all these stages of education are linked and need, therefore, clearly targeted interventions.
He said that as the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) provides guidelines for what should be done, the programme should be implemented.
Parents also need to take an interest in school matters, attend parents meetings in order to receive feedback on the performance of their children and provide feedback to teachers on the challenges they might face at home with their children, continued Schade.
“There is also a need to continuously assess teachers’ performances and provide training where needed and, we need a conducive learning environment at school – proper facilities, textbooks as well as the removal of shebeens and other disturbances next to schools,” he said.
Klaus said: “the education sector is the most scrutinised by the public, because every year the public assesses the performance based on the release of the Grade 10 and 12 results. Even the performance of teachers in the English competency test was widely discussed in the public.”