Education system must toughen up

The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said the average performance of learners should not be embraced.
In her bid to increase qualifying points of learners and upgrade teacher qualifications, the minister said a limit should not be put to the potential of rising above the average, adding that everyone has potential as human beings and that no one is deprived of intelligence. During the opening of the 3rd quarter review of the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 annual plan activities workshop held in Okahandja, Hon Hanse-Himarwa stressed that success requires sacrifice, walking the extra mile, collective effort and learning from best practices. She made reference to the eduction system in South Korea, whose education ministry only recruits the top 5% of all the students graduating from the school system, thus making Korean teachers to be recognized internationally for their skill and dedication. “This will not happen overnight, it’s a process [in which] we would like to engage the public at large, but I had to announce it for you to know that I am here to deliver the best and lead the education sector to contribute to us reaching Vision 2030”. she said. The minister added that Namibians have to understand if the ladder of an industrialised nation has to be reached, a financial, social and moral price to has to be paid. “Thus my public statements on increasing qualifying points, upgrading teacher qualifications, strengthening learner support programmes and monitoring and evaluation of school performance through our inspectorate” she explained.
Highlighting the importance of realizing the benefits of decentralization she said regional directors of education should focus on teaching and learning through strong measures for classroom supervision, while regional councils should get ready to assume functions scheduled to be delegated to them. “The value for money [expectation] requires a paradigm shift in the way of thinking and working, to determine whether implemented strategic actions will be sustainable in the long run.” She further urged education managers and the nation at large to try and understand the ministry’s justification for its actions, describing them as persistent challenges which she would like to address with speed, urgency and bold objectivity. She stated that one of the development partners in education recently commented that despite high levels of investment “the education systems remains weak by international standards.”

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