Absenteeism, Sex With Pupils Irk Minister

ABSENTEEIM, sex with pupils and reporting for work late at schools must come to an end, the arts and culture minister has warned.

Katrina Hanse-Himarwa made the warning when she met with education officials at Outapi in Omusati region on Friday.

“That is irresponsible behaviour, which must be seriously discouraged by principals and inspectors. As professionals, it is very disturbing that some of us leave our children unattended due to regular absence. Our conscience does not even bother us. We see nothing wrong with being absent from work, but we can draw a salary on the 20th of every month,” the minister said. According to her, many teachers use the pretext of being sick to obtain false sick leave certificates.

“We teach children to come early to school, yet teachers come late. What example are we, as teachers, setting? I do not subscribe to the notion of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. You must, as teachers, lead by example, because you ought to be role models to these children,” Hanse-Himarwa said.

She charged that some teachers go to work as if they were forced to join the profession and show no commitment, while others are involved in money-making activities during school hours, alcohol abuse and sexual relations with pupils.

“How an adult engages in this type of things with a pupil is beyond my comprehension,” she said, adding that “teachers are in the place of a parent and cannot engage in sexual relationships with the very children they are supposed to take care of”.

Hanse-Himarwa said teaching should not be merely a seven-to-one job but teachers must spend time with pupils after normal teaching hours in order to achieve the results they are aiming to get.

She told the meeting that President Hage Geingob has requested her and the education management to submit a declaration of intent, which stipulates their priority areas and how to achieve desired outcomes.

“That document will be shared with you at all levels, because it is binding. Everyone in the ministry will be required to sign performance agreements, binding themselves to achieve set targets and key performance indicators (KPIs),” she said.

Hanse-Himarwa was on a familiarisation visit to the North to meet education professionals, including inspectors, principals and teachers.

Source : The Namibian