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Budgetary constraints a challenge for new curriculum: Amukana

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The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is unable to implement the new curriculum that came into effect in 2015, due to budgetary constraints, Director of Education for the Oshana Region, Hileni Amukana has revealed.The ministry in 2015 fully adopt…

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is unable to implement the new curriculum that came into effect in 2015, due to budgetary constraints, Director of Education for the Oshana Region, Hileni Amukana has revealed.

The ministry in 2015 fully adopted the implementation of recommendations from the 2011 national education conference, which aimed at improving the education and training system for quality learning outcomes, as well as quality of life.

Speaking at the second national education conference here on Tuesday under the theme: ‘Transforming education towards inclusion and quality in the context of global challenges’, Amukana fumed that budgetary constraints resulting from an economic downturn remain the main challenge in the implementation of the curriculum reform, which came with its own budgetary needs.

“The education system is receiving bad publicity but for the ministry to implement the core quality of the reformed curriculum it must be aligned to a budget. We are going to make recommendations and if the recommendations of today are not aligned with a budget, I will not be able to implement technology in the schools because there are no computers in schools. We are currently struggling with the construction of pre-primary classrooms,” she said.

Amukana further revealed that since the implementation of the curriculum, the ministry has spent about N.dollars 265.4 million on teaching and learning materials, N.dollars 405.6 million on teachers’ housing, whilst over N.dollars 382.6 million was spent on the universal education grant and over N.dollars 267 million went towards the school feeding programmes.

She further highlighted that, amongst other challenges, there is a performance gap between regional offices and schools, noting regional officers are required to sign performance agreements, however, school teachers’ competence is not assessed, which in the process hampers the quality of education, due to lack of accountability.

Amukana indicated that policies formulated to support the curriculum included inclusive education; prevention and management of learner pregnancy; abolished compulsory financial contribution to school development for universal primary and secondary; school feeding programme, as well as the policy on orphans and vulnerable children.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency