18 Dec 2013 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Education (MoE) will only recruit 156 teachers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region for the 2014 and 2015 academic years, and not the more than 2 000 as previously reported.
A media statement issued by the Ministry's Communications Officer, Johanna Absalom on Tuesday said Cabinet gave its approval for the recruitment of teachers from SADC countries early this month.
The decision was taken during Cabinets 13th ordinary meeting in the capital on 03 December 2013.
A media statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology last week said Cabinet approved the recruitment of the needed teachers from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya in east Africa.
It said the Teachers Bulletin Vacancy List for 2014 states that there is 2 227 vacant posts for teachers across all regions and all grade levels.
Clarifying the matter, Absalom on Tuesday however said the MoE will only seek 156 teachers, or even less, from the SADC countries and not 2 227 as previously understood.
She said Namibia is faced with an acute shortage of qualified teachers at schools countrywide. The lack of teachers is partly attributed to the implementation of free universal primary education, which resulted in an increase of learner enrolment at primary level.
The 156 teachers will complement the upgrading of unqualified teachers and teachers recruited locally, as we work towards and commit to training and educating for national development as per our mandate as the Ministry of Education, she said.
Absalom further explained that the short supply of qualified teachers is also a result of a year of non-production of teachers, following the merger of the colleges of education with the University of Namibia (Unam).
She added that as part of their mitigation efforts, early this year the MoE sensitised Cabinet about the shortage of qualified teachers, especially for key subjects namely sciences, mathematics and English, as well as local languages such as Setswana.
She said the MoE requested Cabinet to initiate a speedy process to recruit a small number of qualified teachers from other SADC countries in order to fill this gap.
Cabinet approved the request to recruit teachers from the SADC countries to teach in priority fields of specialisation - that is sciences, mathematics and English for Grades 5 to 12 respectively, she noted.
Absalom stated that the arrangement to recruit teachers from the SADC countries will enable Namibia to benefit from their rich human resources and expertise, as well as contribute to the fulfilment of Namibia's mission, which is to provide accessible and quality education to all.
She said the arrangement is also in line with the SADC Protocol on Education and Training and the African Union (AU) Protocol on Education, which makes provision for countries in SADC to share resources for development.