Education ministry boosting safe school environments

29 Mar 2018 14:20pm
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) will implement the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF) aimed at setting guidelines for safer school environments, later this year.
The framework identifies seven standards to help Namibian schools create favourable teaching and learning environments.
Upon inquiry here this week, clinical psychologist of the MoEAC Ayesha Wentworth explained to Nampa: “The purpose of the framework is to provide schools with a practical guide to achieve safety and coordinate programmes and interventions that will be delivered through collaborative engagement by all stakeholders.”
She said schools that are affected by a violent culture often have low levels of trust between learners and educators, low commitment by learners and teachers, lack of parental and community involvement and inappropriate forms of discipline (corporal punishment).
Wentworth pointed out that school-based violence is complex and cannot be separated from the broader environment in which a school operates, hence the framework comprehends these complex problems and attempts to implement the necessary principles to address them.
“Parents and teachers should communicate openly and realise that this is not a power struggle, but a partnership in ensuring that our youth are not affected by various factors that lead to violence,” she stressed.
This sense of connection is fostered in a school environment where teachers and other adults create opportunities for learners to feel valued, supported, appreciated, involved and engaged in the school setting.
The NSSF offers insight into the root causes of violence and harmful behaviour in the Namibian context, how to recognise types of violence and the impact of violence on educational experience for both learners and teachers.