GOBABIS – The Minister of Education, Abraham Iyambo, says Namibia has made considerable progress in the advancement of literacy initiatives since independence. He noted that such progress has contributed immensely to the country’s favourable literacy rate.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the chairperson of the Omaheke Regional Council, Ignatius Gariseb, at the launch of the Adult Learners’ Week here on Monday, Iyambo said many Namibians have gained invaluable skills through adult literacy initiatives.
The education minster said government has prioritised adult education as one of the objectives towards the attainment of its inclusive education policy.
“We have started to cater for visually impaired learners and training visually impaired promoters. Another recent development is the start of literacy classes and the training of promoters for deaf adults,” he said of the programmes which the ministry has put in place to advance adult education.
Iyambo said to improve the level of its educators, the Ministry of Education has developed the National Standards for Adult Educators that will inform education and training providers in Namibia on the development of adult education.
He, however, called on the private sector to meet government half-way in tackling adult illiteracy, as it requires a concerted effort to maximise output.
He said Namibia, like many other countries, has seen a rapid pace of technological and industrial change that has placed new demands on modern-day employees.
As such, functioning in the knowledge economy requires the flexibility to adapt and adopt to new changes.
“Adult education as a catalyst for change provides people with the skills and knowledge they need to ensure they can meet and adapt to these new demands. Therefore, by providing access to education to those who need it, we create more inclusive societies,” he noted.
Iyambo called on adult learners to join literacy and adult education programmes offered by institutions of higher learning in order to improve their qualifications.
According to the latest figures revealed by the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES), Namibia has a healthy literacy rate of 87.7 per cent, up from a 64 per cent literacy rate some 20 years ago.
Adult enrolment in basic literacy programmes has also seen a significant increase, and currently ranges between 28 000 and 30 000 per year.
Adult Learners’ Week in Namibia is celebrated from September 1 to 8 every year. – Nampa