Parents are crying - SPYL

The Swapo Party Youth League is of the view the new curriculum is very poorly organised.

30 January 2019 | Education

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for education, Hofni Iipinge, has expressed his deepening concern over the revised education curriculum that has been rolled at secondary school level.

Iipinge, who is a teacher by profession, said parents and learners “are crying and are really disturbed by this poorly organised curriculum” that is being implemented without facilities being built at schools.

Iipinge also said government must construct enough vocational facilities to absorb all the learners who will be exiting school at grade 9, after writing semi-external examinations.

He said if government fails to do this, the learners “will go back to square one” and end up on the streets.

“We need to act now.”

Iipinge said it will not help to implement policies that are jeopardising and increasing education problems.

He therefore called on government, through its line ministry, to listen to parents, teachers, regional governors and education directors, who are the custodians of education in their regions.

“We must listen to each other and consultations must be considered before implementation, especially during this time of economic crisis,” Iipinge said.

“This curriculum is supposed to be proactively equipping and training our young ones to be ready for vocational training subjects. The government is supposed to build facilities at schools, especially equipped classrooms and hostels, before approving the implementation of this curriculum.”

Iipinge said the revised curriculum is aimed at reducing the number of school dropouts and allows more learners to take vocational subjects that will contribute significantly to Namibia's industrialisation needs.

He said academically the curriculum is very good and as SPYL secretary for education he really commends it.

Iipinge has requested government to make sure that the ministers of education and their technical teams go to the regions to identify challenges themselves and rectify some of the emergency issues affecting education.

“The common problem we have now is a lack of learners' hostels and the few schools with grade 10, which forces many learners to walk abnormal distances to and from schools, which is now contradicting the education policy on distances to be travelled by each child.

“Due to the long distances, especially in the northern regions of Omusati to Zambezi, parents have to look for rental spaces at nearby towns or villages to erect shacks for their children, while it is not safe to have a 14-year-old child renting and taking care of themselves,” Iipinge said.

He said the consequences government has to consider include the safety of the child, the environment, challenges like sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse and high teenage pregnancies and HIV infections due to these children having no supervision.

“We need to protect our future leaders from being victims of evils. Parents are crying and they are really disturbed by this poorly organised curriculum that is implemented without facilities being built at schools.”

Iipinge added that schools are faced with the challenge of a lack of classrooms.

“I am calling on government to act fast and provide temporary structures, such as classrooms to the needy schools. There is no way teachers can educate learners under trees. How do you attract learners to love school while the environment is not conducive?”

“These budget cuts to the ministry of education need to be reviewed; some ministries are really a challenge, so you can't afford to cut their budgets. As a government we have to invest in education to get quality results. I am appealing to the ministry of finance to see education as a crucial ministry, so learners' educational needs are respected and solved,” he said.

ILENI NANDJATO

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