By Frederick Philander
The Khomas Regional Executive Committee of the Namibia Teachers’ Union (Nantu) yesterday praised the Government for again allocating the biggest part of the national budget to the country’s education sector.
This was part of a number of education issues raised by the regional executive committee’s vice-chairperson, Paul Sauerwein, at a press conference.
“We applaud the Government for its continued commitment to invest in education. It is however important that the various role players ensure that the N$4,8 billion be properly utilized in the provision of quality education,” Sauerwein said.
In his view education is an expensive commodity like peace in every country.
“The future of a country depends on a good education system. We acknowledge we are not there yet, but are on our way. In this the private sector needs to take hands with the Government who need to spend funds wisely,” he warned.
Sauerwein also expressed concern about the Grade 10 situation in the country.
“It may be a reasonable demand to Government for Grade 10s to be given another chance to be readmitted to schools, but the affordability thereof and practicalities need to be taken into account. The workload of teachers and the availability of more teachers as well as sufficient classrooms are some of the harsh realities that need to be considered,” he said.
He also alluded to the increase of pensions to the aged.
“Pensioners are in essence paying school fees for learners from their incomes.
In that way they also provide education to our children. Nantu members should consider contributing N$10 per month to be added to the social grants of pensioners and other vulnerable people in the society,” he suggested.
“Furthermore, the closure of Ramatax will negatively effect the economy, it will increase unemployment. These laid-off parents will also not be in a position to pay their children’s school fees. Education is thus also affected by the closure in which people have lost their jobs,” he said.
In conclusion, he appealed to union members to redouble their teaching efforts in classrooms and offices to provide quality education and to secure better end-of-year examination results.