By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK “Well-managed schools are the keys for providing quality education and for achieving the national goals of access, equity, efficiency and life-long educational opportunities for all Namibian learners.” This is the view of the minister of Education, Nangolo Mbumba, in a publication foreword to Namibian school principals. Two ministerial policy documents, Guidelines for School Principals, and National Standards and Performance Indicators for Schools in Namibia were launched 12 days ago on 15 March by minister Mbumba. “It is at the individual school level where it will be decided whether quality education is achieved for every learner and it is the individual school principal who will contribute to a more effective education service delivery system by providing a conducive atmosphere for learning,” the minister warned in his foreword in Guidelines for School Principals of which 2 000 copies were printed and circulated in Namibian schools. It is general knowledge that the inability and lack of strong leadership of many principals to effectively run Namibian schools contribute largely to the lack-luster performances of learners. “In order to fulfill his responsibilities the principal must be an inspiring professional leader and manager at a school. He must be able to provide effective leadership to teachers and staff in order to implement the curriculum, including the promotion of links with the community the school serves,” Mbumba says in the foreword. According to him, the document will provide a wealth of information to principals to help and assist them in carrying out their responsibilities. This particular document, drawn up by people who have been in education for a long time, covers basic and elementary administrative functions such as the functioning of school boards, the managing of staff and learners, managing the school office, managing school finances, buildings, teaching facilities and learning materials. The minister also launched the National Standards and Performance Indicators for Schools in Namibia of which 20 000 copies were printed for use by teachers in all government schools. “This document was born out of a realization that schools in Namibia should have uniform parameters, yardsticks and standards by which they could be measured; these standards are school friendly tools that can be used for teacher self-assessment, principal self-assessment and the entire school self-assessment,” the minister said at the launch, attended by some seventy principals and other education stakeholders. The publication of the two policy documents was financed by USAID/BES 3 and GTZ, two development partners of the Ministry of Education.
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