Ministry to spend millions to train unqualified teachers

01 Jul 2015 17:40pm
GOBABIS, 01 JUL (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is expected to spend N.dollars 70 million over the next two years to train unqualified and under-qualified teachers countrywide.
Deputy Education Minister, Ester Anna Nghipondoka says her ministry decided to tackle the issue head-on in a bid to improve the quality of education in the country.
She made this revelation in an address to teachers and other educators on Thursday during her familiarisation tour of the Omaheke Region.
Nghipondoka stressed that Namibia continues to have a high number of under-qualified and unqualified teachers, despite Government's effort to improve the situation.
She said a task force is already in place to look at modalities on how best the teachers will be trained.
“We are working around the clock to rectify many problems faced by our ministry, especially this one of under-qualified and unqualified teachers. I am positive that with time, we will manage to bring this number significantly down, if not eliminate it all together,” she said.
The majority of these teachers are still employed in the rural areas of the country - areas usually shunned by qualified teachers due to the absence of proper accommodation structures for them, Nghipondoka said.
To elevate the shortage of housing for teachers, the deputy minister said, the ministry will construct 420 houses during each financial year until the backlog is minimised.
“We are aware of the harsh learning and teaching environment most of our teachers are forced to operate under, such as the lack of decent accommodation facilities.
“Rest assured, we are not sleeping and have been working on manners in which we can make the environment more conducive for you as educators,” she said.
Teachers present during the meeting complained of the vast distances between schools in the Omaheke Region, old and worn-out infrastructure at many schools across the region and the high drop-out rate of learners due to socio-economic reasons.
Whilst admitting to these challenges, Nghipondoka urged educators to turn around the education performance of Omaheke, which has been one of the lowly ranked regions for the past five years.
The deputy minister also visited schools around Gobabis during her two-day stay in the region.