Erongo Must Take Lead in Free Secondary Education

Free secondary education should start in the Erongo region because it is the richest region in the country with mining and fishing resources, a youth leader says.

“We know they (Government) cannot start free secondary education in the whole country at once, but they have to start somewhere, so we suggest it starts in Erongo,” the Namibia National Students’ Organisation’s (Nanso) Secretary for Secondary and Basic Education, Herman Walter Rutz, told Nampa here on Monday. The national examination fees for Grades 10 and 12 should also be abolished soonest, he notes.

A Cabinet decision in this regard this March directed the Ministry of Education to make all necessary arrangements so that no Namibian parent or guardian is required to pay school fees at secondary education level from 2016. This comes after the introduction of free primary education in the beginning of 2013. “We do not only want to hear people talking about free education on the news, and people clapping hands – we want to see it happen,” states Rutz , who is also the national executive committee member for the students’ organisation assigned to Erongo. He furthermore expresses the organisation’s unhappiness about children having to walk long distances to schools around the region, saying drivers of all government vehicles must give such learners a ride to and from school.

“We are very unhappy that after 24 years of independence, we still have learners walking more than five kilometres, with government vehicles just passing by without helping. So, we are appealing to government to change the law and allow drivers to take such children to school if they find them on the way.”

Universal primary education (UPE) was implemented in Namibia early last year, and since then, pre-primary and primary school learners have been attending school without having to fork out money towards school development funds, books or other school necessities, except school uniforms. Meanwhile, ten new executive committee members for the students’ organisation in the Erongo region have been elected. They are Gregory Madi and Peter Shilunga , chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively, and regional secretary, Jackobina Gideon.

Madi took over from Paulus Ephraim. Shilunga’s position was formerly occupied by Gebhardt Mumbala, while Gideon occupied the position formerly held by Helena Uutoni. The three former leaders are now pursuing further studies in Namibia and abroad. The Finance and Economics portfolio has been filled by Luciano Kambala, and that of Gender and Social Welfare by Antonia Iipinge. Information and Publicity is now headed by Luzolo Mbenza, while Ester Shitana is dealing with Political and Internal Affairs, with Theo Amakali being in charge of Sports and Culture. Euphenia Shituula is the Secretary for Education and Training, while Enos Eliakin is an additional memberThe majority of these members are new students, who were elevated from branch level to regional executive positions.

Source : New Era