Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa has urged government to inject more funds into vocational training institutions if widespread poverty is to be tackled more holistically.
Speaking at a meeting with the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and some constituency councillors, Kashuupulwa said supporting VTCs financially would aid in impacting vocational skills to unemployed men and women.
“While we focus on poverty eradication, industrialisation, income disparity, economic growth, wealth and job creation we want central government to empower vocational institutions,” implored Kashuupulwa.
Oshana Region has two vocational schools – Valombola Vocational Training Centre and the Community Skills Development Centre (COSDEC).
According to Kashuupulwa empowering VTCs will also aid in securing a place for the high number of school dropouts at secondary level.
He also called on the education ministry to ensure there are houses for primary school teachers in order to attract and accommodate qualified teachers in rural areas.
He concurred with the education minister who wants education to be strengthened at early childhood development and primary education level.
According to Hanse-Himarwa, a strong foundation at the lower level would ensure better development of the pupil at the secondary and tertiary level.
Kashuupulwa said although there are several schools undergoing construction in the region, several are in need of rehabilitation.
Hanse-Himarwa at the same meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the sloppy construction of teachers’ houses in Omusati Region.
Hanse-Himarwa who was on a familiarisation visit to Omusati last week said there are teachers’ houses that are falling to pieces with cracking observed whilst they have not even been occupied.
She said many teachers continue to squat and live in unconducive environments yet they are expected to deliver. She added that the ministry is fully aware of their plight.
“We are fully aware of the disturbing backlog in the construction of infrastructure at our schools, especially classrooms, teacher accommodation and ablution facilities. We are looking into those backlogs. We are in consultation with other ministries to see how to cut down on the bureaucracies that cause these delays,” assured Hanse-Himarwa at the address to teachers in Oshana Region on Wednesday.
The education, arts and culture minister, an advocate of decentralising capital projects called upon regional councillors to take ownership of projects in their regions and to monitor the work closely.
“Don’t hesitate to enquire when something has going wrong – be curious, get closer and find out who the contractor is. You don’t have to be invited in your own region,” she pleaded.