Reactionary policies

05 January 2018 | Columns

The budget cuts in Namibia have made headlines for months.

While the causes are clear and by now we should know what to do to avoid these recessions in our small far too vulnerable country, we are still shocked that these cuts have filtered through to the health and education ministries.

Certainly there are other areas where we can cut a little? Advisory councils, consultants, travel and S&T seem to be most apt to take the chop.

Ministers travel all over the country and the world and oftentimes, stay for weeks, with delegations at these far-off places. The botched trip to Sochi towards the end of the year, is one such example.

Now we hear that 85% of the total, but cut, budget of the education ministry goes to wages.

What was it before the budget cuts of N$300-odd million? Around 75%?

And yet we think this is in order?

We are also very surprised that the ministry did not plan ahead… we have all known of the economic crisis for months now.

Schools open next week and yet, there is still no indication of which teachers will be moved or transferred to other schools or regions, from 'overstaffed' schools.

Many young graduates who are ready to teach our children do not know if they have a job.

How is this possible? We have a few days before children must be registered and the very next day, they are to sit in their classes and meet their teachers and education must begin.

Or shall be it delayed for a few weeks while the ministry sorts out who must go where?

The problem in Namibia, and we have said this repeatedly, is that we are a reactionary lot. We do not plan, we do not prepare. We never think ahead.

The water crisis in Windhoek is another case in point.

The services of health and education are not to be compromised. This is like going to the bottle store and skipping the bread and milk because you are in January and your funds are low.

Utterly unacceptable. We need to get our house in order. The children and the sick rely on us.

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