Education Plan Gears for Action

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The financial commitments and pledges to ETSIP were made within a spirit of international solidarity with the learning community of Namibia. So said Prime Minister Nahas Angula on Thursday at the pledging conference that yielded more than N$300 million for the improvement of the Namibian education system. Various foreign governments and the local business fraternity contributed towards the success of the fundraising effort. “The World Forum for Education for All is of the opinion that while no country should be denied international assistance, priority should be given to those regions and countries which are in greatest need. Such international commitments should now be translated into concrete action in the form of financial, technical and material support to ETSIP,” Prime Minister Hangula urged those present. According to him, the Namibian Government believes that education and training are too important to be left on their own. “Government believes that education is a partnership. Families, communities, civil society and the private sector are expected to make a contribution to education and training within their means. We would like to forge an educational development coalition on the basis of a public-private partnership,” Angula said. The Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila informed the conference that since independence the Government has made available N$27,7 billion to education and by 2009 the amount would be in the vicinity of N$37,6 billion. “Despite this investment the needs are not yet satisfied and the educational deficit is still far from being addressed. ETSIP must prioritize equipping our teachers with appropriate skills so that our children can receive quality education. We must have adequate schools which are appropriately resourced. If these basics are lacking, chances to succeed will remain limited,” the minister of finance intimated. She also told the gathering that the total costs of ETSIP will be around N$3,4 billion. The country director of the World Bank, Ritva Reinikka, promised the Namibian Government continuous technical support with the ETSIP programme. “Finland recognizes the importance of ICT in education as a means of improving educational delivery and management. We stand ready to support the ETSIP ICT programme, which aims to improve the skills and competencies of educators in the use and application of ICTs in learning environments,” said Seija Kinni-Huttenen, ChargÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© d’Affaires of the Finnish embassy in contributing N$1 million to ETSIP.