By Michael Liswaniso
Opuwo was a beehive of activity last Friday night when over 40 teachers graduated through the Ministry of Education’s Basic Education Teacher’s Diploma in-service programme.
The programme was commissioned years ago to cater for unqualified teachers whose jobs were in jeopardy because they did not have qualifications.
At the occasion, the Director of Education in the Region, Kamwi Kabajani, urged the newly-qualified graduates to plough back their knowledge for a change.
He said despite the fact that most teachers go through a chain of hardships during the execution of their duties, they should not be overwhelmed by these challenges.
“Most of our teachers work in rural schools. They live and work in the dehumanizing conditions in all corners of this country. They are hated by communities and in some cases insulted and even beaten by learners.
“There is also a further challenge of teaching hungry children and tired children who walk long distances. Therefore, I mean teachers who know and understand the nobility of this profession will never be overwhelmed by these challenges,” said Kabajani, after citing among others the hardships that teachers go through.
Kabajani said there is an important question being asked, namely, what is wrong with the quality of Namibia’s education?
He said this is a million dollar question.
“We want learners to repeat but does repetition solve the problem of
quality outcomes in our schools? Many argue that is our system of
education. Others argue that it is our promotion criteria or perhaps our diagnostic and assessment methods. Others accuse the curriculum.
“I insist on commitment because it is the answer towards advancing the professional standards of practice in the teaching profession,” he said.
The director also told the newly qualified graduates that they should be able to answer the question as to why education is failing, adding that quality education must be seen as an input and not an output.
“We have put to shame the names of all the heroes and heroines in this country whose blood waters our freedom by failing to fulfill our mandate.
“We keep the public guessing who the sinner is when we know the cause of the problem,” he stressed.
Rosemary Tjitombo was awarded a substantial cash prize and a trophy for being the highest achiever among all graduates.
The ceremony was graced by the presence of Kunene Regional Governor, Dudu Murorua, as well as NIED’s director, Hertha Pomuti, who echoed Kabajani’s sentiments by urging the graduates to be proud and ensure that they dedicate themselves to their profession for change.
Hundreds of residents attended the ceremony, while a local band spiced up the occasion with live music.