Windhoek-The Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka has cautioned student teachers to understand the important role a teacher play in the development of the country.
“Teaching is not for chance-takers, not for those who like comfort, not for the poor performers, not for those who have nothing else to do – but it is a calling for those committed to make a lasting impact in the lives of the learners and the county and the world at large. It is a calling for the eagles,” she said yesterday when she addressed student teachers at the International University of Management (IUM).
According to her, it is no secret that the average age of the teachers entering the teaching profession has gone down significantly.
She said more and more young people are joining the teaching profession and thus a need for them to be properly coached and equipped with all the information they need above their subjects content in order for them to be able to adapt relatively well in the teaching profession without stress.
As she appreciate the efforts done by the institutions of higher learning like IUM to train teachers, who are in high demand, she requested the university to make it a point to produce teachers who are highly skilled and equipped with life skills which will enable them to contribute effectively to the improvement of the quality and relevance of the education offered to learners in schools where they are going to serve.
Further, she said in order for one to be prepared to become a teacher on demand by the education system, they need to understand what the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture needs to improve on towards quality inclusive and lifelong learning and position oneself to be part of the solution.
“Because I don’t think anyone of you here would want to graduate and become part of the problem,” Nghipondoka remarked.
She stated the ministry is striving to improve, through the revised curriculum, certain areas.
These include the quality of teaching at pre-primary to lower-primary levels in order to ensure uninterrupted progress through all the levels from grades 0 to 12 as well as expanding on access to pre-primary education by many children.
Another area she raised is the introduction of a language policy which ensures that all children grades 0 to 3 children are taught in their mother tongue to stimulate high level thinking in their mother tongue before they switch over to English as medium of instruction in Grade 4.
She said making the education system demand-driven by introducing pre-vocational subjects at 14 schools countrywide which will be broadened in the years to come is also high on the agenda.
She added that expansion on the school feeding of children is also a priority.
“We are training our serving teachers on ICT with the aim of integrating ICT in teaching.
This implies that as a teacher under training efforts should be made to equip yourself with ICT skills. Principals are trained through school link programme to enter and retrieve information about their schools,” she maintained.
She revealed that the ministry is busy introducing the inclusive education policy which has a lot of implications to teacher skill requirement.