Despite the education ministry receiving the largest chunk of the national budget it spends only 6.6 percent of its total budget on capital projects, while a massive 93.4 percent goes to funding its operations.
The education ministry received N$12.8 billion for the 2016/17 financial year, but only N$1.6 billion was allocated to the capital budget.
This was revealed by Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Thursday when she appealed to teachers to refrain from insisting on an eight percent salary increment and to rather settle for the suggested five percent increase.
She urged teachers to focus on their sole mandate – educating learners – as this is an important trimester, wherein learners need to perform well to be promoted to the next grade.
Minister Hanse-Himarwa was speaking at the handover of hostel facilities at Olupuka Combined School in the Oshikoto Region. The facilities were funded by the Small Miners Union, through the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The minister sympathised with teachers, saying: “When we’re looking at your [terms of] service and benefits we’re looking at them with clear minds. I can assure you that I, as your minister, together with government, are painfully aware of the different challenges that you are faced with as teachers…”
She appealed to all teachers to reflect deeply and to consider the five percent increase offered by government, noting that the authorities are working to improve teachers’ conditions.
“It will not stop here,” she said. “We will continue looking into your terms of service and conditions [of employment], but it is important that we act as responsible citizens and also understand the economic situation, which is not only unique to Namibia, but [results from] a global downturn,” she explained.
“Continue to be committed. Continue to be focused and take the hands of our government,” she advised. “Hence our plea that you act responsibly, because this is a very important trimester, not only in the lives of you and I, but the lives of the Namibian children who we are preparing for very important exams.”