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Local maths teacher training programme commences – Initiative gets million-dollar boost

Local maths teacher training programme commences – Initiative gets million-dollar boost

The annual National Mathematics Congress teacher training initiative has been thrown a lifeline with the announcement of a three-year, N$1-million sponsorship from Walvis Bay Salt Refiners.

The 14th edition of the congress which started today will conclude on 9 May at Namib High School.

The four-day congress, was established in 2006 in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to improve the learning and teaching of maths in local schools.

The congress is expected to draw more than 300 primary and secondary school teachers from all 14 regions of the country.

At the opening ceremony, Walvis Bay Salt Refiners managing director, Andre Snyman said he was “100% convinced” that the congress was achieving its aim of raising the standard of maths education across the country.

“We know that the end product is only as good as the quality of the teachers that you have in the system. If we can lift their performance, we can have a wider impact,” he added.

Snyman said the company had been involved as a congress co-sponsor since its inception but had seized the opportunity to take over as main sponsor three years ago.

“This programme is exceptional, and we want to see it continue for many more years. Making a solid commitment for the next three years will help us ensure its longevity,” he added.

Congress organiser, Magret Courtney-Clarke said the Ministry of Education supported teachers with transport and accommodation but that they were reliant on the Refiners’ sponsorship to run the congress itself.

This year’s theme would focus on the teaching of the “demanding” new mathematics curriculum and its assessment practices, she said.

“Our aim is to create a platform where mathematics educators can meet, share information, discuss common concerns and especially learn about teaching and learning mathematics from other teachers and expert educators,” said Courtney-Clarke.

She said over 3,500 teachers had attended the congress in total, with some returning year after year.

“They are divided into junior and senior primary and junior and senior secondary phases. Each group participates in workshops and practical exercises specifically aimed at the level they are teaching,” she added.

“Many schools send all their maths teachers and are reporting positive change and improvement in their schools. We are also seeing an increasing number of teachers involved in post-graduate degrees.”

While the congress had previously relied on experts from South Africa, Courtney-Clarke said a number of competent local educators have started to run the programme.

Caption: Junior primary teachers get to grips with colourful teaching materials during the National Mathematics Congress in Swakopmund. Walvis Bay Salt Refiners has just announced a $1-million, three-year sponsorship of the event, which is aimed at improving the standard of mathematics education in Namibia. (Image supplied).


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.