Windhoek-The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture plans to spend N$100 million to train underqualified teachers and curb the shortage of teachers the ministry experiences.
In 2016, the education ministry had 30,042 teachers in 1,846 schools with learner enrolment of 722,248. Out of the number of teachers in the country about 25,958 (89%) had professional teaching qualifications of three or more years.
“Training is in place for the unqualified and underqualified teachers through the Centre for Continuing Professional Development, Teaching and Learning Improvement at the University of Namibia,” explained Absalom Absalom, the public relations officer at the ministry.
Absalom said the unqualified teachers have Grade 12, while underqualified teachers have qualifications from the former education college.
The ministry will spend the budgeted N$100 million for a period stretching from 2016 to 2024. A total of 1,627 (years 1 and 2) In-Service Education and Training (INSET) teachers have been enrolled in the programme and the first cohort is expected to complete training in 2019.
“Besides the above continuing professional development initiative, 35 school principals (trainers of trainers) were trained in the implementation of the revised curriculum for junior secondary phase in 2016,” said Absalom.
In 2016, 84 mentor teachers received refresher training on how to induct and mentor newly qualified teachers in schools.
“Information communication technology (ICT) training of teachers, facilitated by the National Institute for Educational Development, took place in 2016 in some of the fourteen political/administrative regions of the country,” noted Absalom.
With the support from UNESCO through the Chinese-Funds-In-Trust project, an online education forum called KOPANO provided a virtual space that brought educators together as a community of practice regardless of distance, and facilitated discussions, communication, learning and sharing of best practices.