We have guaranteed poverty

22 July 2019 | Opinion

More than 10 years ago there was concern over the growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children in the country. During the time of Nangolo Mbumba’s tenure at the education ministry, he, in 2008, said that after an initial projection at that time there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021.

We have far exceeded that number.

President Hage Geingob announced during his State of the Nation Address in April last year, that the government had 344 000 of these children on its books.

The government often speaks glowingly about these numbers, saying they are increasing their coverage of the orphans and vulnerable children.

Are we sure this is correct? Or are the numbers of orphans and vulnerable children growing?

These massive numbers are contributing to school dropouts. Understandably so. Who has the time to learn your ABCs and buy stationery and uniforms when there is no surety of where your next meal is coming from?

Thus, we can say with absolute certainty that the cycle of poverty is guaranteed. If there is so little opportunity for university graduates, what chance does a school dropout have?

The sins of the fathers are catching up with us. We have not uplifted our people adequately. We have not dealt with violence and drug and alcohol abuse. We have not dealt with a lack of infrastructure, including schools, hostels and houses. We have not dealt with good quality education and job creation.

In a home where there is steady income, children can go to school and they can learn, provided the family life is stable. There is a far better chance of a stable home if that home is fully serviced, without shebeens next door, and if there is a steady and good income.

We have not ensured that these things are in place. What we have done, is to ensure that the cycle of poverty, for hundreds of thousands of our countrymen and –women, will continue.