The Minister of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, says she is conscious of the fact that good results at secondary level can only be attained if a solid foundation is laid in early childhood development.
Hanse-Himarwa, who was speaking at a familiarisation meeting in Oshana on Wednesday, implored teachers and the education fraternity to strengthen the country’s educational base.
“There is no way else we can expect good results at the top if we do not put emphasis on early childhood development and primary education,” advised Hanse-Himarwa.
In her advocacy for a solid foundation at the lower level, she warned against the negligence of early education as the absence of a solid foundation would leave no room for any structure to stand on.
“We need to focus on early childhood development and primary education. These two should not be neglected because they are at the lower level,” warned Hanse-Himarwa.
She said it is the creation of a solid foundation that prompted her and her Deputy Minister Anna Nghipondoka to introduce the designation of a programme that will equip and train teachers at primary level through distance and in-service training.
The education sector is burdened with about 4 000 unqualified and underqualified teachers at primary level.
According to her, the desired results cannot be achieved with such a big number of unqualified/underqualified teachers at primary level.
“They are already in the system and are providing services. We cannot throw them in the streets. We need to formalise them and retrain them; equip and resource our teachers,” said Hanse-Himarwa.
In addition she emphasised the need for learners to produce quality symbols and points in order to cope with the pressure at secondary level and have smooth access to tertiary level.
Hanse-Himarwa reiterated the call by fellow politicians to decentralise capital projects in order for the projects to be properly monitored, controlled and implemented at a speedy pace.
Hanse-Himarwa who was speaking from her experience as governor of //Kharas Region said the realisation of decentralising projects would see regional leaders taking ownership of projects in their region.
“I am also from the regions and I understand you – it’s justifiable. I cannot take ownership of a project from someone who was appointed elsewhere. Their loyalty will be with the person who appointed them,” said Hanse-Himarwa.