Query: Education, Arts and Culture Minister, pupils are forced to repeat a grade just because of failing maths, despite having passed the other subjects with very good marks.
Response: Mathematics is a compulsory subject, this means a learner should pass the subject to be promoted to the next grade. Namibia is aiming to become a knowledge- based economy. In order to achieve this, the Namibian education system needs to improve the quality output of the education and training sector and prioritise subjects that provide a base for developing the most required human resource shortages. All these subjects require mathematics as a pre-requisite subject.
Currently, mathematics is compulsory for all learners from Grade 1 to 12.
Query: Minister of Education, Arts and Culture we need authentic information about the promised BETD. We, the unqualified teachers in service, want to study, please.
Response: The ministry would like to clarify that it would not be re-introducing the BETD programme. What the ministry is currently underway with is the planning and preparation for the Inset Diploma in Junior Primary (unqualified and underqualified teachers).
The development of this programme and execution of this programme have been outsourced to the University of Namibia. Our main role as a ministry in this regard will be that of monitoring the development and implementation. According to the plans, registration of students on the programme and the first contact session are envisaged to take place in early May this year.
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa in collaboration with the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi, launched the In-Service Teacher Education Diploma in Junior Primary Education in Windhoek on Friday, 26 February 2016.
Query: Teachers, please do not cane pupils.
Response: The Namibian government through the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia prohibits the application of corporal punishment. The Education Act (Act No. 16 of 2001) also prohibits the application of corporal punishment towards any learner by a staff member while performing their duty as teachers. On corporal punishment of learners, the Education Act (Act. No. 16 of 2001) stipulates that a teacher or any other person employed at a state school or hostel or private school or hostel commits misconduct if such teacher or person, in the performance of his or her official duties, imposes or administers corporal punishment upon a learner, or causes corporal punishment to be imposed or administered upon a learner.
Thus, school principals should ensure that misconduct concerns are reported for the appropriate disciplinary measures to be taken without fail.
• Johanna Absalom, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. E-mail address: Johanna.Absalom@moe.gov.naTel: O61-2933358