Namibia's future workforce at risk

08 November 2018 | Social Issues

The future productivity of Namibia's workforce may be at risk due to the country's poor health and education status.

Namibia outranks only 40 other countries globally on the Human Capital Index.

The index ranks Namibia 117th out of 157 countries worldwide and measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by the age of 18.

According to the index, children born in Namibia today will one day be only 43% as productive as they could have been if they had enjoyed complete education and full health.

The index measures the amount of human capital that children born in 2018 can expect to attain by age 18, based on the risks of poor education and poor health that prevail in their country.

The index is designed to highlight how improvements in the current education and health outcomes shape the productivity of the next generation of workers. It assumes that children born in a given year will experience current educational opportunities and health risks over the next 18 years.

It follows the trajectory from birth to adulthood of a child born in a given year.

In the poorest countries, there is a significant risk that children do not even survive to see their fifth birthday.

Even if they do reach school age, there is a further risk that they do not start school, let alone complete the full cycle of education through grade 12 that is the norm in rich countries.

The time they do spend in school may translate unevenly into learning, depending on the quality of their teachers and schools and the support they receive from family.

After the age of 18, they carry with them the lasting childhood effects of poor health and nutrition that limit physical and cognitive abilities as an adult.

The index indicates that 96 out of 100 children born in Namibia survive to the age of five.

A Namibian child who starts school at the age of four can expect to complete 8.9 years of school by their 18th birthday.

However, factoring in the quality of learning in Namibia, the expected years of school are equivalent to only 5.8 years. This means that there is a learning gap of 3.1 years.

The report says the quantity of education is measured as the number of years of school a child can expect to obtain by their 18th birthday, given the prevailing pattern of enrolment rates and assuming they start preschool at age four.

The best possible outcome is when children stay in school for 14 years.

High enrolment rates throughout the school system bring many rich countries close to the 14-year benchmark.

Average test scores from major international testing programmes range from around 600 in the best-performing countries to around 300 in the worst-performing.

To put these numbers in perspective, a score of roughly 400 corresponds to a benchmark of minimum proficiency set by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the largest international testing programme.

Less than half of students in developing countries meet this standard, compared with 86% in advanced economies. Students in Namibia score 407.

In Namibia, 71% of 15-year-olds will survive until age 60. This statistic is a proxy for the range of fatal and non-fatal health outcomes that a child born today would experience as an adult under current conditions in the country.

The index also states that 77 out of 100 children in Namibia are not stunted, while the 23% who are stunted are at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.

Globally, 56% of all children born today will grow up to be, at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92% will grow up to be, at best, 75% as productive as they could be. In the SADC region this figure stands at 40% of children born today.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Pregnancies, HIV haunt teens

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia is grappling with a stubbornly high national teenage pregnancy rate, which stands at 19%. In the two Kavango regions alone, the teen pregnancy...

ELCRN defends controversial synod

1 week ago - 03 September 2019 | Social Issues

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELRCN) has distanced itself from the violence that broke out during the elections held at its...

Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'

1 month - 30 July 2019 | Social Issues

The Khomas Region recorded 89 school pregnancies in the first term of this year, while 1 002 learners fell pregnant between 2015 and 2018.Ombudsman John...

Vulnerable and alone

1 month - 19 July 2019 | Social Issues

After an initial projection in 2008 that there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021, President Hage...

Hopeless, destitute

3 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

‘Just hunt for another woman’

3 months ago - 12 June 2019 | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWE Gender affairs minister Doreen Sioka has urged men to find another partner when their relationships go...

Alcohol linked to high suicide rate

3 months ago - 29 May 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia has once again been fingered as one of the African countries with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, which could also explain its high...

Deadbeat dads

3 months ago - 21 May 2019 | Social Issues

Although Namibian law holds both parents equally responsible for meeting the basic needs of their children, nearly half of households are run by single mothers,...

Confusion over shack baby

4 months ago - 15 May 2019 | Social Issues

The mother of a three-month-old baby girl who the City Police confirmed had died at the end of April after she and her three young...

Blaauw makes a difference

4 months ago - 14 May 2019 | Social Issues

Mariselle Stofberg and Michelline NawatisesTylo Blaauw has raised funds to have an air conditioner installed at an old-age home and also handed over a cheque...

Latest News

Great risk, great reward

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk In only three years, Braam Vermeulen and his two other founding partners...

Once bitten, twice shy

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Economics

The Government Institutions Pension Fund says it cannot guarantee the success of its unlisted investment scheme but has taken precautions to ensure that it does...

Rape: No means no

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Crime

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday underlined a woman's right to say no and urged Namibians to band together to end the epidemic of violence by...

Perseverance and a good attitude...

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Growing up in the small town of Rehoboth, Chantell Engelbrecht longs for the times she used to play street soccer with her...

Fear is not a factor

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Michelline Nawatises Primus Shaapopi was born at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region. For 17 years, he was raised as a Catholic by his grandmother at...

Self-motivation and teamwork

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Mariselle StofbergEvery new challenge can translate into a learning experience, which helps Natalia Simon gain deeper knowledge of my profession.Simon has never allowed the challenges...

Adding value to the equation

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Born and raised in Oranjemund in the //Karas Region, Marisol Basson attended high school in South Africa. She decided to study marketing...

SOEs a burden - Jooste

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says state-owned enterprises in Namibia, with the exception of a few, have failed to optimally deliver on their mandates.“In some...

Let's talk about sex

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Opinion

Teen pregnancy in Namibia remains a rising concern. The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay...

Load More