Teaching regulatory authority to be established

09 November 2021 | Education

ESTER KAMATI

WINDHOEK

A conference was held in Windhoek last week by the ministry of education and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) to discuss the establishment of a professional council for educators.

At the event, Prime Minister Sarah Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the professionalisation of the teaching occupation is the main focus for Africa’s continental education strategy.

“The teaching profession in Namibia, like in many other countries, has been under pressure to become more effective and responsive to the needs of the people.

“This calls for speedy actions to ensure that the people’s desire to have professional educators and improve the quality of the education system in Namibia is attained,” she said.

At the Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA) Conference hosted by Nantu in Windhoek in 2015, a resolution was passed for all African countries to establish teaching regulatory authorities.

After this, an educator policy was drafted to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a professional council for educators. The establishment of a teacher regulatory body was further supported through the review of the Education Act that started in 2016.

Quality improvement

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added that quality improvement in education is relevant to the second phase of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

“One of the actions under this pillar is to establish professional regulatory bodies by 2022 to improve the quality of training of educators and prescribe minimum standards for the profession for early childhood development and caregiver, pre-primary, primary, secondary, Tvet instructors and lecturers.”

The prime minister said a steering committee has been established to draft the Professional Educators Act to regulate all educators in Namibia.

The establishment of professional guidelines will support the cross-border mobility of teachers and the recognition of qualifications in lifelong learning across Africa.

“It is thus required that Namibia creates an enabling environment for the enforcement of admission requirements to educator training institutions, educator registration, promote their professional development and regulate their education and training programmes,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

According to her, the government is in the process of developing a national human resource development strategy and implementation plan, expected to be finalised by 2022.

“Its implementation will promote the professional development of educators as well as their education and training programmes to improve the quality of education.”

Expectations

Deputy education minister Faustina Caley said the teaching profession in Namibia has been under constant pressure to be more effective and responsive to the needs of the nation.

Countries who have already established regulatory authorities for teaching include Zambia, Nigeria, Jamaica, Ghana, Kenya, Canada, and South Africa, some of whom shared their practices via video conferencing.

“A professional council for teachers’ significance cannot be underestimated because it has the potential to uplift the status and self-esteem of the teaching profession and transform the professional and public confidence in teaching,” stated Caley.

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