‘Cut Red Tape in Schools’

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The governor of the Bank of Namibia on Friday directly appealed to the Ministry of Education to relax the present stringent procedures hampering effective running of schools and delivery of quality education at schools under its jurisdiction. The appeal comes in the wake of wide spread fears and concerns that Namibia might not be able to achieve its educational goals in line with the government’s Vision 2030. Alweendo made the request on Friday at the formalization of an agreement to financially support two selected secondary schools over the next five years. The agreement caters for the provision of computers, software and the training of teachers over the next five years to the tune of N$1 million. “There has been a lot said and discussed about quality education. Presently, that quality cannot help us reach our goals to achieve a knowledge-based economy as part of Vision 2030. To ensure success at school level, we should start running these institutions as companies with full autonomous authority given to principals as the chief executive officers,” said Alweendo. In his view, the present bureaucratic red tape applicable to schools in the country causes unnecessary delays to the smooth running of government schools. “The Public Service Commission would probably think otherwise about this genuine request, but there is really no other way if schools are to operate more functionally and effectively. The frustrating thing is that a decision that can be made instantaneously by any school principal first needs to be forwarded through various channels within the Ministry of Education. The outcomes of such decisions can take up to 12 months, causing unnecessary frustrations and delays,” Alweendo said. One of the headmasters present, Pretorius Magudu, supported the governor’s call for the red tape in government schools to be relaxed and lessened. “We accept the fact that there are ministerial procedures to be adhered to as guidelines, but the present system doesn’t work in the way it should. It has been a serious concern and a bone of contention among many school principals in the country. Such a move will strengthen and support the leaderships in schools. Based on that, I welcome the governor’s appeal to the Ministry of Education,” said Magudu from Gobabis on behalf of the two principals who signed the agreement. The two secondary schools to benefit from the agreement are the Wennie du Plessis Secondary School and the Nuuyoma Secondary School. “These schools have been selected to be financially supported for their academic achievements and geographic situation, the north and the east of the country. Both qualify for N$500 000. A requirement is that formal computer lessons be introduced at these schools as a formal subject,” the governor said of the schools, which both already have computer laboratories.

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