Teachers Double As Education Planners

The Ministry of Education faces a shortage of qualified education planners, a situation that has compelled the ministry to employ ordinary teachers to carry out this highly specialised task.

Currently there are only about 30 experienced education planners in the country. This was revealed on Tuesday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Alfred Ilukena, during the annual review seminar on the education and training sector underway in the capital. Namibia has fallen short of international standards on education planning, he said.

“Our planners are classroom teachers. We recruit teachers who cannot plan for the education sector which requires specific skills, because we do not have qualified education planners,” noted the permanent secretary. He however said the ministry has been making strides to ensure that existing planners receive adequate training. “We saw it fit and said let’s not take things for granted. It’s time we start investing although we have limited resources at our disposal. We have to train them to plan education and it do it better. At the moment, we have sent planners to France for training,” said Ilukena.

According to him sending staff for training outside the country is costly, but he is hopeful Namibia will have a specialised institution to train education planners locally in the not too distant future. The Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi confirmed the shortage of qualified education planners, and added that the ministry will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) to institutionalise education planning.

This he said will include the continuous use of the expertise of the International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP) to roll out training programmes for education planners. Such a platform he said will also ensure education planning is based on the practical realities of Namibia, while providing access to even more planners. Regarding the Post 2015 Education Agenda, Namwandi said there is a process underway internationally, which is preparing for education to become a stand alone agenda in the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, which will be endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly and heads of states in New York in September next year. He therefore urged all managers in the education and training sector to be conversant with the consultation process to provide inputs for the process of formulating that agenda.

Source : New Era