Nantu and Nanso adamant that 16 June is a holiday

15 Jun 2016 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA) - The Secretary-General of the Namibia National Teachers' Union (Nantu) says his union will take the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to court if it takes action against teachers who do not turn up for work on Thursday – the Day of the African Child.
The day was initially going to be a school holiday, but the education ministry last week issued a statement to directorates of education, asking them to inform schools that they should celebrate the day from 08h00 to 13h00.
Upon enquiry on Wednesday, Basilius Haingura said the ministry made the changes “at the last minute” and said the school calendar indicates that 16 June is a holiday for teachers and learners.
The president of the Namibia National Students' Organisation (Nanso), Wilhelm Wilhelm, echoing Nantu’s sentiments, in a media statement on Wednesday called on its members and learners not to go to school on Thursday.
“Should any teacher or learner be intimidated or victimised for not going to school, we will seek legal recourse for our members,” he said.
The school calendar is drafted by the School Calendar Preparatory Committee under a policy and any amendments made to it, should be approved by that committee.
In her response, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Sanet Steenkamp made it clear that the ministry's stance is that 16 June is not a school holiday and all teachers and learners must go to school.
She made it clear that it is within the minister’s rights to make amendments to the school calendar under the Education Act.