Ilukena slams requests for teachers' English test to be stopped

01 Feb 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 FEB (NAMPA) – The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education has slammed requests by trade unions for the ministry to halt the English Language Proficiency Test for teachers.
The English Language Proficiency Programme (ELPP) was introduced after a thorough analysis and study of the education system.
A media statement issued by Ilukena on Friday said the Ministry of Education was tasked by the National Conference on Education to relook the entire language policy as the last one was adopted in 1993.
“It was observed that both the teaching of the mother tongue and of English were regrettably poor in primary schools, and indeed in the education system as a whole,” the statement said.
The University of Namibia (Unam) was contracted to develop and implement the programme.
The test revealed that the majority of teachers fell under the pre-intermediate and intermediate levels and required support, and therefore an English language programme for teachers was developed and rolled out in the regions.
Ilukena said the ELPP is not a condition of service but a professional matter, and it is part of the ministry's efforts to pursue education goals of quality and efficiency as it strives to uplift its teachers and enhance their communicative abilities.
“Seeing that there is a gap, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to intervene and upgrade our teachers,” he said.
He made it clear that the Education Ministry and Unam will continue to explore innovative ways in which to execute the programme.
Both the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) and Teachers’ Union of Namibia have expressed dissatisfaction with the ELPP. Nantu has called on Government to halt the programme as it is of the opinion that its targets are not clear, while TUN has rejected the programme and requested the ministry to “clarify” it.