Semba & //Hoebes in public spat at education review meeting

06 Aug 2015 15:30pm
By Charles Tjatindi
AMINUIS, 06 AUG (NAMPA) - An education review meeting here on Thursday veered off the rails when regional councillors, principals and teachers witnessed a war of words between Omaheke Director of Education, Peka Semba and the Deputy Minister in the office of the Prime Minister, Christine //Hoebes.
The meeting was called by //Hoebes to review the performance of the Omaheke Region in education and was attended by various stakeholders in the sector.
Shortly after Semba made his contribution to the meeting, which largely centred on the challenges facing the education fraternity in Omaheke, //Hoabes stood up to object to Semba's statement.
The deputy minister said Semba had acted unprofessionally by apparently not preparing a speech for the event, but merely “sat down and jotted a response” from her statement, which was delivered earlier.
The clearly angered //Hoebes said Semba's conduct was unbecoming and not befitting the scope of the meeting.
“You were supposed to have a prepared speech, but you didn't. You just sat there and made notes from my speech in order to launch an attack on my person,” //Hoebes fumed in full view of the attendees to the meeting.
A suggestion by the deputy minister to have an agricultural college opened in Omaheke appears to have ruffled feathers, as Semba responded in his address that there was no money for such a project, as setting up such an institution will be costly.
“All we can do is to incorporate agriculture into the new curriculum, which will be under review tomorrow (Friday). Setting up an agriculture school will be expensive,” he said.
//Hoebes responded in her address that Semba took her suggestion out of context, as she made it in good faith considering that Omaheke is the “cattle country”.
“Who asked you to build a school? Since when do you build schools? Building schools is the work of Government and Government will do so when it is warranted for. I never asked you to build a school for the region,” she noted.
Another comment that angered the deputy minister was Semba's apparent suggestion that due to challenges facing the sector, Omaheke may be forced to employ “quick fix”’ solutions to remedy the situation.
“The director said quick fix solutions will be employed, contrary to my speech in which I asked us to look at more permanent solutions instead of quick fix solutions,” //Hoebes noted.
While the deputy minister was speaking, Semba begged the director of proceedings to accord him a chance to respond.
Semba maintained, +
the deputy minister misunderstood him, as he never launched an attack on her.
“My speech was prepared before time and I merely highlighted the issues we are facing. I never launched an attack on the deputy minister,” he told Nampa after the meeting.
The meeting was aimed at critically reviewing the performance of the Omaheke Region and possibly come up with concrete resolutions on the way forward.