“Go this way the person goes that way, stand up the person sits down, sit down the person runs away.”
These are some of the words used by Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka, to describe the attitude of some teachers in her ministry, which she said hinders academic performance and the delivery of quality education to the Namibian child.
Nghipondoka made these remarks while addressing teachers of the Kalahari circuit at Suiderlig High School last week. She pointed out that attitude makes a great difference in educational outcomes. A negative attitude by teachers can have a big impact on learners’ performance in school, thus needs urgent attention, she said.
She narrated that some schools have adopted negative attitudes and poor work ethics within their institutional culture and identity, adding that such schools and teachers are usually resistant to change and as a result, become professional failures. She said teachers who have embraced the culture of negativity are not bothered and do not even feel guilty when their learners fail, but happily scoop their salaries and go home and eat with their children, while their learners are failing at school.
She emphasised to the teachers present that the problem with attitude is that nobody will be able to change it for them, but only they can do so. “This is something that needs to be rooted out, even if it’s so deep rooted that it may bleed.”
The deputy minister briefly explained that one of the causes of such negative attitudes and resistance to change is a result teachers staying at one school for too long. Such negativity and poor work ethics manifest in a lack of commitment, alcohol abuse, poor subject management and other undesirable activities that hinder positive academic progress.
The former education director encouraged the teachers to embrace good practices, such as teamwork.
“If you have a negative attitude, go from this meeting and work hard to manage your attitude,” she urged the teachers present, adding that she wants to see the best performance yet from the region at the end of the year.