Katrina warns diploma-enrolled teachers not to fail

10 May 2016 12:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 10 MAY (NAMPA) - Minister of Education Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said teachers signed up for the Diploma in Junior Primary Education who fail to advance, will have to pay for their own studies.
The four-year taxpayer-funded course is a Government initiative to qualify unqualified and under-qualified teachers in the junior primary phase in the country.
Over 4 000 practicing teachers are listed for training, with an initial 1 000 taken in at various campuses of the University of Namibia (UNAM) this year.
Hanse-Himarwa launched the programme at the UNAM Southern Campus on Monday in front of 80 teachers from the Hardap and //Kharas regions enrolled at the Keetmanshoop-based campus.
Students who fail to progress to the next level may also be denied the opportunity to continue studying if space is limited.
“That is how serious I am about this. If you are not as serious as I am, quit now so another teacher can take your place,” Hanse-Himarwa said.
Calling the initiative her “legacy project”, she further notified participants that transport and accommodation during school holidays will not be covered by Government.
“That is your 50 per cent. You will have to pay for that. We will take care of sustenance and the smooth running of the programme.”
So far, her ministry injected N.dollars 5 million and a further N.dollars 15 million is allocated to the initiative for this financial year.
The Government of the United States of America through the American Embassy donated US.dollars 30 000 (about N.dollars 458 000).
Face-to-face training will be conducted throughout school holidays and self-study activities during school terms.
“Teachers should be disciplined and committed from the start to get to the business of getting the nation’s children up to speed,” Hanse-Himarwa said.
In return, employment contracts will no longer lapse after one year as a job security benefit for the unqualified teachers while in training.
Hanse-Himarwa described the programme as a critical emergency project to help fix flaws in the early childhood-development phase that contribute to poor performance of learners later in secondary grades.
“The minister always gets blamed for poor Grade 10 and 12 performance when they are not even in the class. Nonetheless, I am confident we have found the solution with this intervention.”
Hanse-Himarwa’s other undertaking is infrastructure development in schools and hostels.
“You cannot expose a teacher to this training, open his/her mind, and then put him/her in a shack [to live]. I do not promise heaven and earth, but I am proud of a great start,” she said.