Art Programme’s Future Lies in Privatization

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A suggestion that the Extension Programme of the College of the Arts be privatized is gaining support and momentum among most of the 70 part-time tutors working in it. This was on Tuesday confirmed by Afron Nyambali during a follow-up interview after the sit-in the tutors held a week ago at the finance offices of the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, to bring the plight of the workers to the attention of the authorities. “We see this as the only alternative for the many problems we face in the NAEP. A discussion around the privatization of the NAEP was held three weeks ago during a workshop at the Katutura Community Art Center. The idea was accepted by all the tutors present at the meeting,” said Afron. The rationale behind the suggestion was that the lecturers working in the programme had been mistreated for far too long over many years. “I do not know why the workers must first resort to unorthodox methods and force to get their legitimate pay from the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, This was the case after Art/Life published the story. All of a sudden we received our money on the very same day the report of the sit-in was published,” said music tutor, Afron Nyambali, According to him, it had now been agreed that salary claims of the tutors need to be done on the 20th of each month so that the salaries can be paid out at the end of each month. “This does not seem to be a bad idea, but the question is for how long will this arrangement be successfully implemented? For the time being things have been taken care of. Let’s hope it lasts. But because of the skepticism reigning among the workforce, we would rather opt for privatization so that able and capable people can run the programme to the benefit of the Namibian nation. I see no other alternative for the problem,” he said.