School principals under fire in Karas

KEETMANSHOOP: Education Deputy Minister, Sylvia Makgone on Monday expressed her dissatisfaction over the poor supervision and lack of leadership skills displayed by school principals and heads of departments at some public schools in the Karas Region.

The deputy Education Minister said the majority of the school principals and heads of departments at public schools in the Karas Region have no teaching action plans, and most of them do not know what to do to help improve the learning and teaching performance at their respective schools.

It also came to light during the deputy minister’s visit to some of the schools in the Karas Region that a number of school principals and heads of departments have allegedly used money which they had received from the government to make financial investments through Metropolitan Namibia and Old Mutual Namibia.

“Such investments have been made without the blessing and knowledge of the Regional Education Directorate Offices or without authorisation from the Education Ministry’s Head Offices in Windhoek,” she noted.

The deputy minister had undertaken a four-day familiarisation visit of nine public schools in the districts of Koes, Aroab, Tses, Berseba and Keetmanshoop, and she made these observations as she presented her to the Karas Regional Education Directorate on Monday.

“We have a very serious leadership problem in the majority of school principals and heads of departments employed at some public schools in the Karas Region. Principals do not have a plan of teaching actions. School Inspectors are just coming to the schools and go back without doing proper inspections as far as teaching and learning at the schools are concerned. Subject Advisors in the Karas Region are not giving the required support to the schools’ management in this region. These are the reasons why the Karas Region is always achieving below the level when compared to other regions during the final year examinations,” said Makgone.

According to the deputy minister, none of the school principals were able to show her any proper homework done by the learners at the schools and some school principals do not even know the total number of the learners at their school.

Makgone also said she has found out that some school principals in the Karas Region are advertising vacancies at their schools on social media networking sites such as Facebook instead of advertising through the government-prescribed channels.

“We need to develop proper leadership and managerial skills of school principals and heads of departments in the Karas Region without further delays,” she said.

The deputy minister leaves Keetmanshoop for Windhoek on Tuesday, and her findings will also be presented to the Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi for his intervention.