Private schools neglect quality: Namwandi

04 Feb 2014 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 04 FEB (NAMPA) - The Minister of Education on Tuesday lashed out at private schools in the Khomas Region, which charge exhorbitant fees and yet perform below standard.
Dr David Namwandi told principals of some private schools at the Government's Auditorium in the capital that they employ unqualified teachers, and also accused them of being more concerned about profits but neglecting quality education.
He said some of these private schools have high failure rates, while Government expects such schools to take the lead in delivering quality education.
“My ministry will no longer take kindly to private schools which are lowering education standards,” stressed the minister.
He then directed that private schools which are struggling with pass rates revert to consulting best-performing schools’ principals, both public and private, and tap from their experience.
Article 20 of the Namibian Constitution empowers people to establish private schools on condition that the standards of these schools are benchmarked to those of public schools, or higher.
He said private schools shall continue to get financial resources from Government, and such schools must demonstrate their will for quality education.
“But we shall not sit back and watch private schools collecting more funds from parents but learners are not taught well or not taught at all,” he warned.
The education minister reminded principals that their schools are located in the legislative, administrative and economic capital of Namibia, Windhoek, and are surrounded by civilisation, the world of information and communication technology (ICT), and thus have no reason not to perform.
He advised poor-performing private schools to extend their time tables until afternoon or and evening.
Namwandi reiterated that extensive and maximal use of time will yield better results.
He directed that managers of private schools should assess and report on achievements and challenges regarding the realisation of their targets, and involve parents at all times.
The high failure rates of learners are attributed to many factors, which include the influence of school leaderships on learners’ achievements, quality of teachers, total commitment of teachers towards their work, and discipline among teachers and learners.
The minister further warned that private schools which do not adhere to the rules and regulations of his ministry, will be de-registered.
Some of the private schools which attended the meeting were Waldorf, Tanben College, Monarch, and Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS).
The principals of poor-performing schools were then invited by the Education Permanent Secretary Alfred Ilukena to consult his office in order to air their grievances.
(NAMPA)
EK/ND/