WINDHOEK, 02 DEC (NAMPA) -
A review of the first phase of the Education and Training Improvement Programme (ETSIP) has found that key gaps still exist. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp said it was realised there are gaps in finance, planning and monitoring and evaluation.
Phase one of the programme focused on strengthening the immediate supply of middle to high-level skilled labour to support national goals. Steenkamp made this observation when she signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of her ministry with the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) in the capital on Tuesday.
The PS said improving leadership and management, strengthening stakeholder relations and monitoring and evaluation became key areas of concern within the strategic plan of 2012 to 2017.
She added that ETSIP was initiated as a response to Vision 2030, and is aimed at improving the relevance, quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the entire education system from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to tertiary and vocational education.
The fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) also outlined challenges related to quality of education throughout the system, as well as a mismatch between demand for and supply of skills.
"This is an opportune time to reflect back to when the Ministry of Education then developed and launched the Education and Training Improvement Programme in 2006 as a 15-year programme for 2006 to 2020," she said.
The signing of the MoU, Steenkamp stressed, comes at a critical turning point in education planning, as her ministry is preparing to implement the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"The scope of our planning portfolio is bound to change as we need to align our strategic planning to education for sustainable development through innovative human resource planning techniques to improve quality education," she said.
She added that the ministry collaborated with its development partners to conduct in-depth capacity gaps assessment to identify clearly defined strategies for human resources planning and capacity development.
Towards this end, the ministry is setting up a team of analysts to study and oversee the implementation of relevant recommendations from all consultancy reports to date, as these reports have provided an important baseline for systematic planning.
However, in order to sustain systematic evidence based planning, monitoring and evaluation, institutionalisation of education planning became critical, Steenkamp noted.
The MoU is for capacity building for trainers in education. The ministry commissioned the first country training in 2014 in collaboration with NIPAM.
The training which was held in collaboration with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO's) International Institute of Education Planning (IIEP), saw more than 40 planners trained from the Ministry of Education, including planners from regional councils as way of strengthening decentralisation.
The training focused on strategic planning, how to conduct education sector situation analysis by looking at angles of analysis such as access, internal efficiency, quality, equity, external efficiency cost and financing and management. (NAMPA) EK/CT/AS