William J. Mbangula Okatana The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr Abraham Iyambo says the only way to greatness for Namibian learners is to work hard, be disciplined, have respect and be serious about their future. “Education is a Constitutional obligation and a fundamental right, just like food and health. It is what breathing is to life. It is the most secure insurance policy. We must broaden the intellectual horizons of our children so that Namibia can rely on its pool of talents. Skills are crystallised foundations upon which the prosperity of our nation will be anchored.” The minister was speaking recently at Okatana Combined School at the handing over of computers and printers to seven schools in the Oshana region. The facilities were funded by De Beers Marine through the facilitation and appeal of the minister. “Namibian students should develop a questioning mind on issues and not simply memorize what one reads in order to pass the examination. Always ask why, how, what, where and when,” he told the learners. Iyambo noted that Vision 2030 emphasizes the importance of striving for totally integrated, unified, flexible and high quality education and training systems that will prepare the learners to take advantage of a rapidly changing global environment. This will then, he added, contribute to the economic and social development of the nation. “As a country Namibia is committed to provide universal primary education to the entire nation. It aims at giving each and every Namibian equal opportunity to complete his/her education. We therefore hope to give the majority of our nation basic skills in reading, writing, numeric and understanding of socio-economic and cultural processes.” According to the minister, education should be a responsibility of all. It should be conducted in partnership between the private sector and the government. It is for this reason, he noted, that De Beers Marine, having the children of Namibia at heart, has donated the computers to the schools. Schoemans also chipped in to install the computers free of charge. “This is a shining example of the partnership between the government and the private sector. The usage of information technology (IT) is important to ensure productivity and competitiveness. We should therefore beef up the usage of IT. The application of technological infrastructure is key to our nation’s productivity and competitiveness.” Last year, the minister, himself a former learner at Okatana until 1976, visited some of the schools that benefited from this donation, where he was briefed about the needs and problems facing learners. During his discussions with the managing director of De Beers Marine Otto Shikongo, it was agreed that the company would make the donation to these specific schools through its social responsibility programme. “Mr Shikongo and I share a passion for development of our nation. For a nation to develop, we have to concentrate on the development of our children,” explained the minister. The schools that received the donation of computers and printers worth close to N$60 000 are Emono, Amutanga, Iiwiyongo, Shikoyeni, Uunona, Ondelekelama and Okatana. Speaking at the same event which was also attended by the Governor of Oshana region Clemens Kashuupulwa, Shikongo noted that the Social Responsibility Fund of his company wants to ensure that the investment made in the various communities is sustainable and it changes the lives of the people in the long term by adding value to each community. “The Social Responsibility Fund Committee intends to spend about N$100 000 providing assistance to deserving communities for the rest of the year. We also want to ensure that our work supports the attainment of Vision 2030. It is for this reason that our company spends on average N$15 million per year on training, development and human capacity building.” Asked for his view, one of the recipients, Theobald Amushila, the principal of Amutanga Combined School noted that the schools that have received the computers are facing a great challenge to deliver fruitful results. “I think it will be shameful if we perform poorly while we have essential facilities which can help us do better,” Amushila noted.
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