Windhoek – Learners at secondary schools in Namibia are applauding the multi-million Namibia dollar programme of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), which the government agency says is aimed at raising road safety awareness already from school level.
Nguvitjita Kamuanguue, a learner at Cosmos High School in Windhoek, maintains that it is a known fact that many employers require people who have a driver’s licence, and getting a chance to acquire this driving proficiency at school will spare the learners a lot of time and effort after school. “Also, resources for theoretical and practical training will be maximised in an environment where learners are competing to be the drivers as opposed to adults who sometimes have to put aside other pressing responsibilities to attend driving school,” the learner says.
Even though he has already graduated from secondary school, Kabossa Leonard, a media student at the College of the Arts in Windhoek, hails the programme as a step in the right direction. However, he laments the fact that at present the programme does not integrate actual driving and urges the powers that be to look into that. “Right now I am busy at trying to get my licence and it’s a hustle because driving classes are not that cheap. I mean not all of us are fortunate enough to have come from families that have fleets of cars to learn from,” he laments.
Elzinho Amseb, a learner at the Moses van der Byl Primary School in Windhoek, and a proud participant in traffic drills, hints that this programme has already inspired him to become an upstanding citizen in years to come. “I hate road accidents, particularly those that involve young kids. I think I’m going to become a traffic officer when I grow up,” the 11-year-old says.
The programme, which was initiated in 2012 after the National Road Safety Council identified gaps in the school’s curriculum – when it comes to road safety – in 2009, guzzles a whopping N$12 million per year, but according to NRSC chief public relations officer, Ambrosius Tierspoor, it is worth it. Upon the programme’s inception, before the inclusion of upper primary and secondary grade, the programme was financed to the tune of about N$4 million a year.
The road safety programme is currently being rolled out at schools across the country, but only in a cross-curriculum approach. With this approach road safety is taught, not as a standalone subject, but as elements within existing subjects. For the grades 1 to 4 learners the programme was rolled out in the form of visuals such as posters pertaining to roads and road safety.