27 Jun 2016 20:10pm
OKAHAO, 27 JUN (NAMPA) Education is a fundamental human right, and sustainable development cannot be achieved without the enforcement of education, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Namibia Kiki Gbeho says.
She said this while officially opening the annual National Health and Wellness Awareness Raising Week at Okahao in the Omusati Region on Monday.
The week is meant to provide an excellent opportunity to share information, knowledge and skills, particularly on HIV/AIDS in order to improve individual and organisational capacities to confront the pandemic effectively.
Gbeho said reports from the UN show that the 17 new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which were launched last year, were designed to provide development focus over the next 15 years, and calls for global action to eradicate poverty, give dignity to people and save the planet.
Social development goal #4 (SDG4) is the foundation that will anchor global efforts to deliver education for all children, including Namibian boys and girls, as it speaks of inclusive, equitable and quality education and promoting lifelong learning for all, she said.
The annual event, an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, is commemorated in order to empower and sensitise both learners and employees through the Workplace Policy on HIV/AIDS for the Education Sector as developed by the Education Ministry.
Gbeho also emphasised the urgent need to raise awareness in informing learners and educators about the potential negative impact of HIV on the growth of the education sector, saying educators should capitalise on the progress by redoubling efforts to reach the target of zero new infections by 2030.
UN reports show that Namibia has made significant strides in reducing new HIV infections, especially among children, from 12 000 in 2010 to 1 000 new infections in 2016.
Also at the launch, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa noted that mainstreaming of health education through curriculum implementation must be treated as a matter of urgency because incidences of learner pregnancies are rampant in the school system.
It is urgent that those of us in leadership and educational positions should really be concerned about high learner pregnancies in our education system and reflect on how comprehensive sex education is planned and delivered to the learner population, she said.
The minister also strongly urged parents and the general public to genuinely become involved in the education system and the sex education of children.
The national week on wellness and health is scheduled to last till Thursday, during which presentation with topics of different health issues will be presented at the Shaanika Nashilongo Secondary School.