11 Feb 2016 18:00pm
OKAHANDJA, 11 FEB (NAMPA) One-thousand under-qualified teachers will undergo training at the University of Namibia (UNAM) as from next month in order to improve their qualifications to teach in Namibian schools.
Under-qualified teachers are those who have passed Grade 10 and Grade 12 and are teaching at schools without any qualification.
The lack of qualified teachers has been reported as one of the reasons for the poor academic performance of learners.
There are currently 3 000 under-qualified and 1 208 unqualified teachers in the country. Unqualified teachers are those with degrees, but who are not educators.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Knox Otto Imbuwa said N.dollars 20 million has been set aside for the 1 000 under-qualified teachers to undergo one-year training courses this year.
He spoke to Nampa on Thursday on the sidelines of the four-day planning workshop aimed at reviewing the annual plans of the ministrys third quarter of 2015/16 (October to December) and validation of the 2016/17 annual plan.
Imbuwa said under-qualified teachers positions in schools in terms of the structures of the line ministry will be regarded as vacant, until they obtain their qualifications in teaching.
He said 3 000 under-qualified teachers will be trained over a three-year period at UNAM, with an intake of 1 000 each year.
The deputy PS said there are suggestions and discussions for the positions of those under-qualified teachers not be advertised, but for their contracts to be extended from one year to three years (during the duration of their training) so as for them to be recruited as teachers once they have completed the training.
On unqualified teachers, Imbuwa stressed that the ministry is looking at giving them an incentive of not advertising their positions but extending their contracts and for them to obtain a teaching qualification during the duration of their contracts.
Currently what is happening, particularly with unqualified teachers, they use the window of opportunity to say for the time being when I do not have a job as an accountant, or a job as an economist, I go into a school and teach, but as soon as there is a job elsewhere they leave and that leaves us with a gap.
To recruit teachers becomes a problem so we are investigating the possibility to retain them and attract them by ensuring that we give them extended contracts, he explained.
Imbuwa noted that the unqualified teachers must get training by themselves, adding that the ministry is exploring ways on how to support these unqualified teachers.
The training is ongoing for the next four years until the ministry has absorbed the full number of those that are under-qualified.
By November 2015, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture had over 5 000 teaching vacancies nationwide, a situation which minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said at the time had forced them to recruit unqualified, under-qualified and retired teachers.