Teaching Fraternity Wants Autonomy

The Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) says it is high time teachers not resort under the Public Service Commission (PSC) but rather fall under an independent regulatory body that will deal with education service delivery.

Speaking exclusively to New Era, Nantu general secretary Basilius Haingura said it’s high time that government realises the need for an independent teaching regulatory council separate from the general public service.

“Under the PSC we seem not able to get what type of teachers we want in the country. If we have a commission regulating the teaching profession, obviously each and every aspect of the educator will be discussed in insolation of the general public service.”

Haingura says such a regulatory authority will also be useful for record purposes in the recruitment, training and management of teachers.

He noted Namibia does not keep records of teachers.

“Someone can commit an offence in one particular region, and then run to another region to be recruited. But if we have this particular body in place then teachers’ records can be kept in the system,” he argued.

“Should we have such a body in place it will influence the teacher education programme,” he said.

When asked whether Nantu has lobbied for such a proposal, Haingura said the issue “is long overdue”, adding that the government instead wants to “professionalise teachers by giving them licences which is not the right way”.

“When you talk about licencing, you talk about the profession of that person. That is not the way we are thinking. It has nothing to do with performance. Nantu is not saying people should not sign a contract performance.”

He cited countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, among others, which have their own teaching regulatory bodies, where each and every person who has an education qualification is registered.

Meanwhile, Alfred Ilukena, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education said it has been a battle to get teachers out of the PSC and have an independent body to deal with educators’ affairs.

Namibia last week hosted a two-day Africa Forum of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA) conference, aimed at discussing ways to assist governments through the ministries of education and other government agencies to establish educators’ regulatory authorities in African states.

Hence, Ilukena was hopeful that Namibia learnt from the conference on the best practices to establish such a body to promote quality education.

Source : New Era