Only 423 schools without toilets: Namwandi

04 Mar 2014 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 04 MAR (NAMPA) - Education Minister David Namwandi has referred to local reports that more than half the schools in Namibia have no toilet facilities as false and lacking credibility.
A frustrated Namwandi raised the issue in Parliament on Tuesday, referring to an article published in a local English daily newspaper on the same day.
He said the author of the article has given the impression that out of a total of 1 723 schools around Namibia, 1 300 do not have toilets.
“In other words, only 423 schools have toilets. The fact of the matter is that in 2013, there were 1 723 schools in Namibia. Of these, 1 300 had toilets and only 423 were without toilets,” the minister said.
The article said when she tabled a report in the National Assembly two weeks ago, Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila indicated that 77 per cent of schools do not have sanitation facilities, and this has serious implications for pupils, especially girls.
It said the report further states that only 64 per cent of schools have flush toilets, with the Ohangwena, Omusati, Kavango, Oshana, Caprivi and Oshikoto Regions being “far below that average”.
The article also indicated that the report on the 2014/15 National Budget pointed out that efforts by the State to improve learning outcomes have shown limited results at primary level because seven per cent of teachers only have Grade 12 or two years of tertiary education.
Namwandi also rubbished this statement, saying teacher qualifications at primary level indicate that in 2013, 77 per cent of primary teachers were qualified and are thus appropriately trained to teach primary education.
“The seven per cent the article refers to is that of unqualified teachers at secondary level since 93,2 per cent of teachers at this level are all qualified,” he said.
The Education Minister told the House that he “will be the first person to accept that education challenges are many” and that they cannot be addressed as an event, but rather as a process.
“Whereas it is not advisable to have children attend schools without sanitary facilities, the question still remains, which are the options before us? Should we deny a Namibian child an education until a toilet is constructed or should we provide what we can afford?” the minister stated.