Education Crisis: Citizens Voice Concern

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By Sbu Mjikeliso WINDHOEK The majority of a randomly selected group of citizens blamed the Ministry of Education for the lack of sufficient school accommodation in the country and some agreed that they would personally contribute an amount of N$500 towards improving the education system. This snap street survey was conducted as a sequel to a statement by the Minister of Education, Nangolo Mbumba, in an exclusive New Era interview last week. Questions asked to the public were: whether they were aware of the school accommodation problem in the country and who should take responsibility for the situation; what should be done to solve the crisis and whether they would be prepared to make a contribution per person to help solve the accommodation problems. Here are their responses: David Ndjavera: ‘The distribution of information in rural schools is pathetic because those schools are marginalised and they are not of equal quality with the urban schools. Most teachers are not qualified enough to teach English. They instruct English in Afrikaans which can never work because the exam is in English. The schools should do their own research to find out which children have problems with accommodation and cater for them. I would definitely contribute my money because it’s for a good cause.’ Elisabeth Reinhardt: ‘ The problem they face is that they are being taught Afrikaans and when they leave the country, they have to learn French, which is not being taught at the Afrikaans schools because of the shortage of learners. The government is spending 12m dollars to put a fence around the president’s house, why isn’t a usual fence built? The welfare of the people should come first.’ Kapewasha Shiwaya: ‘More hostels in schools would solve the problem of accommodation. I wouldn’t give money because it wouldn’t be necessary; the government has the money.’ Felicia Coetzee: ‘I am not aware of any problems. But I do think the government should provide school buses for commuting students. There is no way I could not afford it (the N$500) and some parents would not afford it either.’ Andre Vermaak: ‘The whole educational system is a problem. The budget for education is a f***en joke. Too much money is spent on politicians’ needs. There is also a shortage of teachers. If the Government allocated enough money to education we wouldn’t have to pay N$500.’ Llewellyn Lewanschek: ‘Yes the discipline between teachers and learners in schools is a problem. School buses should be made available to disadvantaged schools. I would not contribute my own money though.’ Alberene Louw: ‘There are incompetent teachers and insufficient facilities in most schools. The discipline in schools is also a problem. Some schools don’t have hostels, so the Government should build some [hostels] to accommodate more students. I wouldn’t pay any money because if the Government puts the money in the right places people wouldn’t even pay a cent.’ Magnus Gaweseb: ‘There is a fault with the Cambridge system. It was kicked out of the U.K. and it was dumped here. The Government is also not building enough schools. The Government should refer back to their education policy, where they said education is free for all, before asking citizens to fork out money.’ Wilma Claasen: ‘We need to build more schools outside of Windhoek. I can contribute by baking cakes for the school to sell.’ Penny Enoh: ‘ The Government should try and build more schools to accommodate more students. If I were working, I would definitely contribute because this will also affect my children in the future if not solved.’