"We are positive about future of education regardless of challen

11 Feb 2016 18:20pm
OKAHANDJA, 11 FEB (NAMPA) – Education is a process and not an event, which requires continuous planning and innovation, a senior education official said on Thursday.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Knox Otto Imbuwa said this on the sidelines of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s planning workshop in Okahandja.
The four-day workshop, which started on Monday, was aimed at reviewing the third quarter of 2015/16 (October – December 2015) and validating plans towards the current and 2017 academic year.
Imbuwa told Nampa that the involvement of stakeholders is quite cardinal and crucial in education.
“Hence this workshop to deliberate on the challenges faced by the education sector. But we are positive about the future of education regardless of the challenges we have,” he said.
Imbuwa said the workshop presented recommendations in addressing the widespread challenges faced by the education sector.
The sector has been facing a number of challenges, amongst them a lack of classrooms; an increase in unqualified and under-qualified teachers; a shortage of teachers and a backlog of educational facilities such as hostels, libraries and schools.
“We are now able to come up with a formal and consolidated plan that outlines what is expected from the regions and central government in terms of education. That in itself is a huge accomplishment,” said Imbuwa.
He also revealed that part of the resolutions taken during the workshop include the disbursing of funds to regional directorates on the basis of the net enrolment rate and number of students in the different regions as opposed to the 'per capita' funding formula that is currently used.
“This is so that we can see how many learners we have in a particular region and on the basis of that proportionally allocate the required funding to that respective region.
“We have also agreed that some monies kept at central government [head office] must be decentralised to regional directorates so they can do the distribution of funds at regional level to implement and construct the needed infrastructures themselves.”
He said regional directorates will no longer be required to submit financial records of money used for separate projects when requesting additional funding for various purposes.
“That was a policy in the treasury department which raised concern, and that was one of the key issues that was identified as possibly contributing to the slow disbursement of funds which in turn affects the delivery of services.”
Imbuwa said the ministry is considering regular visits to “schools of concern” with education inspectors and principals from the respective schools to ascertain the challenges faced by the schools in terms of improving their pass rate and efficiency in service delivery.
The workshop was amongst others attended by the regional directors of education and a number of other stakeholders.