Covid trauma haunts learners
The loss of experienced teachers to Covid-19 is weighing heavily on the education sector, and psychologically impacting learners at affected schools.
According to the ministry’s clinical psychologist and director of programmes and quality assurance, Ayesha Wentworth, a task team is working on psychosocial support and bereavement interventions for learners and teachers.
She said they are prioritising the intervention before schools resume in the next two weeks, so that learners are brought back on a soft landing.
“We think it is important. We are working with the Namibia National Teachers Union [Nantu] to get teachers training while they are on holiday. We are also getting the other regions involved.
“The task team was set up a long time ago and is part of our bigger Covid-19 response. The first part was the launch for the vaccination campaign for our teachers,” she said.
Wentworth added that the loss of lives has had a serious impact on the learning fraternity as many of the deceased were experienced and seasoned teachers.
“We have asked for the data and we are currently working on getting more specific numbers. The losses we do know about are the veteran teachers who are seasoned educationalists and a loss to the ministry,” she said.
Mahongora Kavihuha from the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) echoed these sentiments, saying the deaths of seasoned teachers has been a massive blow to schools and learners.
“It has a huge impact on delivery, quality and consistency of education.
“We know the learners and parents are traumatised. Now imagine if you have to lose the experienced people who could mitigate these traumas, and bringing in fresh people on already traumatised people. How can you expect results?” he asked.