An open letter to the Education Ministers
Dear Hon. Ministers
Through this letter the Namibian Employers’ Federation as mandated by its affiliates seeks to express its concern in relation to the envisaged reduction oft he education budget allocations and simultaneously urge your respective Ministries to advance and table these concerns on our behalf, and on behalf the larger Namibian population who stands to be directly affected, to the highest levels of decision making for their consideration.
From the onset, we make reference to a notable quote from the Founding Father’s “Vision 2030, accepted by the Government at the time and which has guided the country for the past years. “As required by this Vision, the country will operate a totally integrated, unified, flexible and high quality education and training system that prepares Namibian learners to take advantage of a rapidly changing global environment, including developments in science and technology. This, in turn, would contribute to the economic and social development of the citizens.”
In addition, we extract references from the Harambee prosperity PIan and the breakdowns of some of the honourably intended goals, e.g. Goal 6 improvement of International Competitiveness and Goal l0 increasing VET trainees to 25,000.
It is against this background that The Namibian Employers’ Federation while fully acquainted with the financial position that confronts Government and our Nation at large and which has an adverse impact on our membership and affiliates, opts not at this stage to investigate nor comment on that fiscal situation, but rather on the very crucial aspect of educational budget allocation.
This is due to the fact if not prioritized, much of what was sought to be achieved since independence is likely to be undone over and above the added negative spin offs to the ideal of investing and securing an educated workforce in our Republic.
The question arising under these circumstances is thus; “If we reduce the education budget by one third, how can we expect to meet the expectations of Vision 2030 or any of the Harambee’s admirable goals?”
The Namibia Employers Federation thus appeal to the Ministries of Education, and the Government as a whole, to urgently reconsider the decision to reduce expenditure on education. There have been over the years many complaints within both Public and Private Sector about the quality and effectiveness of our education system. The concern would thus be how we can possibly hope to improve the quality of life for those who are currently deprived if there is insufficient funds to build a decent adequate education system.
Developing the people of any country is like building a house; if the foundation is not strong (primary education), and the walls are crooked and uneven (secondary education), the chances of the house withstanding a strong wind or torrential rain, are limited. So it is with our Nation, a poor and weak primary education will not support the required secondary education let alone the tertiary roof and beams and the engineers and accountants; A quality and well funded educational system will propel our economy to grow and for us to employ the thousands that need and are entitled to a decent job and living wage.
We accordingly implore and urge Government to take steps towards returning at the earliest and without reservation the education budget to the budgeted 2016 level and increase it annually by at least 10%.
If we as a Nation compromise on education, we will fail including our future generations! I trust that you find this in order.
Namibian Employers’ Federation President