Otjozondjupa teachers want increased bush allowances

GROOTFONTEIN: The newly-elected Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) leadership in the Otjozondjupa Region on Saturday vowed to campaign for an increase in the ‘bush allowances’ for teachers.

The one-day Nantu elective conference saw eight office-bearers elected at Grootfontein under the theme “Hard work, dedication and professionalism for quality education in the country”.

The new executive will serve for five years.

The conference determined that in order to attract qualified teachers to teach at rural schools, the rural teachers’ incentive rates (bush allowances) should be increased.

They also want the shortages of teachers’ houses in rural areas addressed at national level.

The newly-elected Nantu chairperson in the Otjozondjupa Region, Innocent Madonsa said the teachers here would like to see a speedy replacement of office equipment at Nantu offices in case of losses.

Madonsa is a teacher at the Grootfontein Senior Secondary School.

He said the conference also resolved that each Nantu regional office in the country must have its own regional office building.

The conference suggested that a section of the union’s constitution be amended in order to allow office-bearers to serve the union for a period of less than 15 consecutive years.

At the moment, Nantu leaders can serve the union for more than 15 consecutive years on five-year terms.

The Otjozondjupa teachers also demanded that travel and subsistence allowances (S&T) be paid during their official trips on the basis that they are also public servants.

Madonsa then assured the teachers here that the resolutions formulated on Saturday would be submitted to Nantu’s national congress during August this year.

Seventy delegates from six Nantu branches in this region, comprising Okahandja, Okakarara, Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumkwe attended the conference.

Madonsa won the top post ahead of Raphael Utseb from the Khorab Senior Secondary School in the Otavi district.

Job Nambili of the Paresis Senior Secondary School in Otjiwarongo was elected deputy regional chairperson, while Maria Chinyama, a teacher at the JG van der Wath School in Okahandja, was chosen as regional secretary, to be deputised by Rudolph Thomas, who is teaching at the Karundu Primary School in Otjiwarongo.

Letisia Kalwenya, a teacher at the Nau-Aib Primary School in Okahandja, was chosen as treasurer; while Benfried Kaapehi, principal of the Ludwig Ndinda Primary School in Okakarara, is the new regional secretary of the organising committee.

Joseph Gideon, the Head of Department (HOD) at Spes Bona Primary School in Otjiwarongo, was elected in the information and publicity portfolio, while the Coblenz Senior Secondary School’s Head of Department Siegfriedine Kazohua is the new gender co-ordinator.

Two independent election observers from the National Youth Service (NYS) declared the proceedings free and fair.

Nantu Deputy Secretary-General Loide Shaanika oversaw the election process.

Founded in 1989, Nantu has 15 600 members out of 24 000 teachers countrywide.