Debt affects teacher performance – deputy minister

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Ondobe – Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Ester Anna Nghipondoka has advised teachers to refrain from accumulating unnecessary debts and visiting loan sharks. The education minister said teachers who are highly indebted cannot concentrate in class and this affects school results.

Nghipondoka, who was delivering a motivational speech to principals in Ohangwena Region on Monday told a half-filled hall that teachers frequent micro-lenders the most. Many teachers present concurred with her sentiments.

“If you go to cash loans, the majority of the ATM cards [being held there] are from teachers. Tell the teachers whose Bob cards are with the cash loans, that the minister said it should be their last month. I don’t want a teacher at a cash loan.”

Nghipondoka advised the educators to live within their means, to settle their debts and instead seek financial counselling from their respective banks.

A teacher by profession, Nghipondoka said unnecessary debts, such as clothing accounts, create unnecessary stress and subsequently hinders their performance and this in turn results in poor results among learners.

“I want a peaceful teacher, relaxed. I don’t want a teacher committing suicide because of high debt,” Nghipondoka said. The deputy minister went on to say teachers receive market-related salaries, from which they can make a decent living.

The deputy minister encouraged teachers to strive to excel, despite the challenges they are faced with. She said the ministry was aware of the challenges schools face, however, that should not be an excuse for non-performance.

Although the Ohangwena Region performed exceptionally well in both grade 10 and 12 national examinations last year, the deputy minister said she was not impressed with the regional performance, because the region has not reached its 60 percent pass rate.

She also called on teachers in the region to redouble their efforts and devise strategies and activities to improve results. The deputy minister also implored educators to buy into and implement the Swapo Party manifesto, Vision 2030 and the national development plans, as well as key programmes aimed at accelerating regional development.

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