The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has criticised the government’s performance contract system, saying instead of government forcing teachers to sign performance agreements government should focus on other pertinent issues.
Addressing the press last week, TUN Vice-President Ndjizuvee Haakuria said currently teachers are faced by challenges such as teaching under trees, lack of proper houses, teaching in makeshift tents and in makeshift classrooms, which are issues that government needs to address. Other pertinent issues, Haakuria said, are the placement of teachers according to their field and level of specialisation and the upgrading of under-qualified teachers in the upper primary and secondary phases of the school system.
He says the formalisation of qualified teachers’ upgrading programmes through linkages with universities, the appointment of appropriately qualified heads of department as well as aspects of health and safety are, among others, also matters needing urgent attention. In this regard, he urged teachers not to sign the performance agreements until such time the Ministry of Education makes serious efforts towards addressing these predicaments.
He also urged government to halt the implementation of the performance agreement system, which is currently a bone of contention.
“Principals were trained recently and they in turn have trained teachers and schools. The time to train teachers is limited due to the ongoing mid-year exams,” he stressed. Teachers need sufficient time to conceptualise and interrogate the system before accepting and implementing it, he added.
“Due date given to some regions is 31st August, for others it is 23rd August – teachers will end up signing something they did not internalise and it will be a haunting problem,” he said.