17 Oct 2018 07:50am
WINDHOEK, 17 OCT (NAMPA) Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Parliamentarian, Mike Kavekotora has questioned how the Basic Education Bill seeks to address the training of quality teachers, powers and functions of school principals and implementation of compulsory education.
Kavekotora raised these concerns in the National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday, when he made his contribution to the draft legislation.
The Bill - if passed into law - aims to promote and regulate free and compulsory basic education. It also seeks to align Namibias education to its development aspirations.
However, what is particularly of concern to the RDP lawmaker is how the Bill in its current format will achieve the objectives it sets out in Section 9 (1), which stipulates that it is compulsory for a learner to attend school between ages 6-18.
Am I correct to say that once the Bill is passed and enacted into law, it is illegal in Namibia to find a child between the ages of 6 to 18 on the street (and) not attending school? he asked.
He continued: If that is the case, who will be the guilty party? Is it the child, the parent or the government if a child in that age group is not in school?
The RDP secretary-general further wanted to know how practical and realistic it is for such a provision to be implemented at a time when Namibia is in short supply of qualified teachers, classrooms and the vastness of the country.
The politician questioned how the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) intends to close the gaps found in terms of resource allocation between urban and rural schools.
He pointed to the gap in the qualification of urban and rural teachers; school facilities; distribution of equipment; availability of teaching materials and access to technology and electricity.
How do you intend to close these gaps and in what time frame? Without closing that gap, inclusive and quality education will be a pipe dream in our rural areas, he charged.
Also, in Kavekotoras eyes, the relationship between a regional education director, the school board and school principal is not clearly defined.
This relationship needs to be properly defined to avoid duplication and confusion at the implementation stage, he proposed.
MoEACs minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa was not present in the NA to respond to the questions.
The house has been adjourned until Thursday, when the debate into the Bill will continue.