Textbooks for new curriculum not yet ready: TUN

16 Dec 2014 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 16 DEC (NAMPA) – Not all textbooks for the new curriculum to be implemented in primary schools next year, have been translated into the different vernaculars.
Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN) president Mahongora Kavihuha said during a media conference in the capital on Tuesday that there are some textbooks ready.
“These books will obviously not be ready by January for implementation, and teachers will then be expected to do the translation of new content themselves as teaching progresses,” he said.
Kavihuha applauded the Ministry of Education for having trained teachers on the implementation of the new curriculum, but noted that the training was done in English to teachers who are supposed to teach the learners in their mother tongues as of next year.
The TUN president made it clear that by raising these issues it does not mean that they are against the new curriculum.
The Ministry of Education’s new reformed curriculum stipulates that learners set to start pre-primary school at Government schools in 2015 will be fully-exposed to their mother-tongues as the medium of instruction in the formal schooling system up to Grade Five.
The subjects in the Junior Primary phase include English, mother- tongue/predominant local language, Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Arts, Physical Education, and Religious and Moral Education.
The Minister of Education David Namwandi announced last year that the curriculum for the Senior Primary phase - Grades Five to Seven - will be implemented in 2016, and will consist of five promotional core subjects - English, the mother-tongue, Mathematics, Natural Science and Health Education, Social Studies plus one of three promotional pre-vocational subjects.
These three promotional pre-vocational subjects are elementary agriculture, design and technology, and home ecology (with entrepreneurial skills integrated).
Kavihuha also responded to a recent food tender scandal, saying food tenders for schools must be awarded to constituency-based companies to promote local economic development and allow money to trickle down to the grassroots.
He said constituency-based companies are more likely to source their materials from local sellers, and thus grow local industries and capacity creating employment for locals.
Kavihuha said currently food tenders for schools are awarded to big companies which are mostly foreign-owned with Namibians as frontmen to assume a Namibian character.
“When it comes to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) it is the same clique that continues to benefit from these tenders, thus perpetuating the status of the rich getting richer and the grassroots being left out,” he said.
It came to light in August this year that the multi-billion dollar tender to supply food to school hostels was riddled with inconsistencies and conflict of interest. After this disclosure, Prime Minister Hage Geingob directed the Ministry of Education to cancel the food tender and re-advertise it.