Namwandi Not Happy With Performance of Some Principals

The Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi is unhappy over the conduct of some school principals, whom he accuses of derailing efforts by the ministry to achieve quality education.

He warned that the ministry has taken a firm stand and is prepared to demote any public school principal found to be failing a school habitually and to de-register private schools that make themselves guilty of the same thing. He declared war on vices he termed “enemies of progress” such as laziness, absenteeism and indiscipline among some education officials. Namwandi issued the stern warning when he met with senior education officials and school managers at Katima Mulilo recently. “This year we are monitoring the principals. Year in year out, your schools are failing. If your school is a public school we will ask you to relinquish your position and I mean that. Maybe the work is too much for you and you want to become an ordinary teacher. For principals of private schools, we will not hesitate to de-register such schools,” Namwandi warned. According to the education minister some school principals are failing to adhere to the ministerial directive, which abolished compulsory contributions to school development funds at primary schools. “There are some principals who send learners back home, because of the non-payment of the so-called school development funds despite us having said that this fee is dead and buried. This year we want to do things differently. The ultimate aim is to empower the Namibian child,” said the education minister.

“Principals are abusing and misusing their power and not only principals, but also school inspectors and even HODs. This is unacceptable in a democratic Namibia.

They allow teachers to be absent from schools on a daily basis and manage schools without discipline. Let us have school development plans, set targets for the region and carry out school evaluations,” he said.

With the Grade 12 results in the region having worsened considerably last year moving the region from position six to last nationwide, Namwandi could only encourage the region to work even harder. “Remember your region went down to last last year, but that should not discourage you. If we put our hands together and work tirelessly good results shall come. Inspectors together with school management will be held accountable for the performance of their schools,” he reiterated. “School management should include parents at all times, because education is a shared responsibility. Arrange post-examination evaluation exercises with your teachers. Take Grade 10 and 12 results and start analysing,” Namwandi suggested. “The government of Namibia is a caring government. Namibia is one of a few countries that spend not less than 20 percent of its national budget on education. The biggest percentage goes to operational costs rather than capital expenditure. That implies that the government cares about your well-being,” he said.

Namwandi who was accompanied by deputy Permanent Secretary for Formal Education Charles Kabajani did not take kindly to a recent report in a local daily, which he described as misleading. “I was very angry… I must confess, because someone just decided to write that there are 1300 schools without toilets or sanitation. I thought that was beating somebody below the belt. But I heard they have corrected the misleading statement.”

Source : New Era