Namwandi Lashes Out At ‘Lazy’ Inspectors

WITH the second school semester starting today, the Minister of Education, David Namwandi, on Friday hit out at education inspectors for lacking professionalism.

During an annual meeting, which was attended by more than a hundred education inspectors and senior education officers from all 14 regions at the town of Rundu, Namwandi warned inspectors to refrain from getting too comfortable in their seats. The minister said he was disturbed by reports that some officials do their inspections while sitting behind their desks.

“I am aware that some of the education officers simply aise by correspondence. In other words, they do not physically go to schools and meet teachers but they do it by telephone. This trend must with immediate effect be reversed, this is a directive,” he warned.

Namwandi backed up his warning by stating that radical steps need to be put in place to monitor progress at every level in the education system.

“I am aware that transport is a challenge. However, the ministry has just entered into a lease agreement of vehicles with a private company, therefore, transport should no longer be an excuse,” he said.

He said the fact that the headmasters of some schools are reportedly absent most of the time to attend to personal affairs during school hours is evidence that inspections are not performed regularly. The minister also expressed his agony over the trending number of unqualified teachers in the country. The Global Monitoring Report on education earlier this year revealed that a total of 3 000 teachers currently teaching at Namibian schools are unqualified.

“My office has noted with great concern, that in spite of the incentives to recruit qualified teachers in rural areas, we are still not managing to get qualified teachers. The trend of appointing unqualified teachers (Grade 12 drop outs) in urban schools is escalating,” he said. Namwandi said when it comes to the Namibian child, educators must be careful in their dealings, as education is not tantamount to cheating.

He also urged education inspectors to guide teachers accordingly, especially with the interpretation of the curriculum and the syllabi.

“Let the Regional Continuous Professional Development unit at the University of Namibia be intensified to oversee the continuous development of teachers, covering several domains such as content pedagogy assessment of learning and teaching strategies school and classroom management issues on inclusive education and professional standards,” he said.

Namwandi said if the high failure rate in schools is attributed to incompetency in terms of subject content and content pedagogy of some the teachers, teachers should be encouraged to take aantage of the programmes at Unam.

“The quality of the education system rests on the quality of its teachers. You can have the best policies, curriculum and the best infrastructure, but if you do not have motivated and inspired teachers then you should as well kiss quality education good bye,” he stressed.

Namwandi’s meeting with inspectors also comes after complaints arose around the regrading of education inspectors in the country, with some stating that their salaries are on par with those of headmasters. Namwandi, however, informed those in attendance that the regrading matter is being dealt with at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Source : The Namibian