Education Is a Right

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK There are children in Namibia who are out of school for one or other reason, even though education is a human right. This is the view of the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, who was the keynote speaker at the opening on Monday of the Education for All Global Week at the UN Plaza. Hundreds of learners from schools in the capital attended the event, which is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. “Some children’s parents are very poor, but in our country that is no reason to keep children out of school. At the same time school principals are not allowed to keep children out of their schools just because their parents cannot afford to pay their school fees. Some children do not have parents, they are orphans who also have the right to be in school,” the deputy minister explained to the learners. Ndjoze-Ojo thereafter alluded to child labour in society. “Some parents think children must work to help feed the family. Such parents do not understand how important it is for their children to get an education because they are struggling to economically survive. Children must get an education so that they don’t always stay poor, whether they live in a shack or under a bridge, you still have just as much right as any other child to be in school,” she emphasized. She also reflected educationally on the plight of children with physical disabilities. “They should be in school, but sometimes their parents don’t know that their child can also go to school, so they keep her or him at home. People with disabilities are just like the rest of us, in all other different ways. Their abilities are greater than their disabilities, and they have just as much right to education as anyone else in special or in ordinary schools in the country,” she said. In her opinion, the country needs education for development. “To stay on target to achieve Vision 2030 we need to have and keep every child in school. Every young person must be prepared to cope with the challenges of life. Every adult must be able to read and write and every citizen must be a lifelong learner,” Ndjoze-Ojo advised.