Construct makeshift classrooms, president tells teachers
Speaking at the opening of Cabinet, he admitted that there are serious problems within the country’s education system, but urged teachers to salvage what they can to fix dilapidated structures at school.
He added that he was surprised to see so many incidents of children being taught under trees, saying when he travelled the country in the past, he did not see anything of the sort.
“The other thing that I now see is a problem is children [being] taught under the trees. I was travelling this country and I did not see that before.”
“And teachers don’t do their best with their hands [when] government is not there. I gave one example at one school, who said ‘that’s where we’re cooking; when it rains, it gets wet’. I said to them ‘while you’re waiting for government, why don’t you put one pole here, one pole there, one pole there and put the ‘blikkies’ on top’. At least you would be cooking there and it won’t be wet while you are waiting for government’,” he said.
He also questioned why schools were failing to mobilise learners to clean their schoolyards instead of calling for assistance from government.
“To clean up there, you are sending someone from Windhoek? No initiatives to clean up. When we were young children in this country, we were cleaning up our schoolyards and so on. Education is a problem, but education is a great equaliser.
“It is a concern to all of us; that is why we are going to meet to share opinions about what direction we can follow. To kind of revisit what happened.
“Is it that bad or is it presentation? It’s true [that] it’s bad, but how do we present it to make it worse?” Geingob asked.
The president also quipped that he wonders why the final academic results are not simply called ‘matric’ instead of being referred to as the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC), which is ‘complicating matters’.
The education ministry saw its worst examination results in 2022 when 85% of the learners who sat for these exams failed.
“In some countries, I am told there is an 85% pass rate for matric. Then they take that, [a] diploma this much, so much for certificates and so much for vocational training, add them together and say 80% pass rate in matric. That’s the new style, so we must visit that and see,” Geingob said.