First-ever workshop for planners in education system kicks off

10 Mar 2014 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 10 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Education (MoE) is hosting the first-ever education sector diagnosis workshop for planners in the education system, which commenced in the capital on Monday.
The workshop is being held in response to the National Conference on Education held in June 2011, which identified the need for the professional capacity-building of education staff in planning, monitoring and evaluation.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Under-Secretary for Formal Education in the MoE, Charles Kabajani here on Monday, Education Minister David Namwandi noted that this workshop is timely and critical as the education system requires drastic measures to address high drop-out and repetition rates, as well as the persistent unacceptable pass rates of Grades 10 and 12 learners.
The workshop is thus the beginning of a process towards the institutionalisation of education planning.
The MoE is also preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) so that education planning could be based on the practical realities of Namibia, while providing access to more planners.
Namwandi added that the workshop is also an effort which builds on the Education Training Sector Improvement Program (ETSIP)’s contribution aimed at skilled human resources’ development to reach Vision 2030.
Education experts define education planning as “the application of rational, systematic analysis to the process of education development with the aim of making education more effective and efficient in responding to the needs and goals of its students and society”.
Also speaking at the opening of the workshop was NIPAM Director Professor Joseph Diescho, who stressed that education planners need to go to the origin of the country's education system in order to understand what the original planners of education had in mind.
He said although the country's education system was based on the apartheid era earlier, there are some lessons which the country could learn from the old education system.
According to Diescho, there were changes brought into the education system at independence, which were not properly planned.
This included the introduction of the English language into schools, and teachers who could not teach the language but Afrikaans only, had to change and teach in English, a situation he said was a challenge for most teachers.
Another change was the introduction of the Cambridge system into Namibian schools and teaching colleges which was discontinued and merged into the University of Namibia (Unam), and this was also not properly planned for.
“If we were more careful, we would have been more gradual,” he said, adding that planning capacities in Africa, Namibia included, are under-developed and countries are preoccupied with the past.
“We have failed to plan on the education system for a Namibian child, failed to mortgage a future for a Namibian child to pave the road to Vision 2030.
Let us start planning, and let us take stock of what we have today and give what we have,” he stressed.
The workshop ends on Friday.