Education Ministry still faces challenges: Hanse-Himarwa

16 Apr 2015 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 16 APR (NAMPA) - The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said her ministry is still faced with serious challenges despite achievements made by her predecessors.
In her first remarks in Parliament on Wednesday, the new education minister said these challenges include shortages of classrooms and hostel facilities, under-performing teachers and principals, and a lack of parental involvement which contributes to low learner performances.
Other challenges include the high dropout rate of school children in some regions due to socio-economic and cultural factors, as well as limited accommodation for teachers in rural areas.
Among her top priorities are the urgent amendment and review of the Education Act 16 of 2001, and the implementation of ministerial regulations that all school building projects must include toilet and sanitation facilities.
Teacher housing and the implementation and periodic assessment of the Ministerial 2012-2017 Strategic Plan will also form part of Hanse-Himarwa's priorities.
Another area that will enjoy importance, the minister added, is the provision of more in-service teacher education and more teaching and learning materials for mathematics, science and technology subjects.
The number of pre-school classes will also be increased to ensure the advancement of early childhood development.
The setting of minimum standards for all Namibian schools, the classification of all schools in terms of the set standards, and the subsequent development of strategies to upgrade those schools that are below the required minimum standard are all urgent, she said.
Hanse-Himarwa stressed that her ministry will put up measures to effectively engage parents, the community and other stakeholders in education.