Educators want Life Skills to become promotional subject

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Director of Adult Education in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Mzingisi Gqwede has called for Life Skills to become a promotional subject, saying drugs, alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancies are significantly increasing.

Presenting critical issues generated from regional stakeholder consultations at the second national education conference here on Tuesday, Gqwede said the declining standard in youth behaviour is reflected in societal moral decay, with problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, as well as teenage pregnancies, seemingly on the increase.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Social Services showed that 160 800 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the country from 2010 to 2022.

Gqwede said Life Skills remains a non-examinable subject and said young people lack moral education. He added that there is a need for policy implementation on prevention and management of learner pregnancies from school level.

The National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) 2016 revised Life Skills curriculum indicated that the subject is a way of making meaning out of life and is aimed at focusing on the optimal, holistic development of all learners to cultivate and strengthen morals and values for social responsibility.

Gqwede further noted that Life Skills subjects and teachers lack recognition and support, stressing that Life Skills teachers do not share the same promotional benefits as others, due the ‘non-promotional’ classification.

“Teachers and communities do not know the policy on learner pregnancy, this policy is still not known, learners are sent home or they remain home and this is happening despite the policy,” he stated.

Highlighting other issues, Gqwede noted that female learners lack access to sanitary pads and school meals are not provided year-round and are not nutritious, while poor school administration undermines inclusiveness and safety.

The four-day second national education conference is being held under the theme ‘Transforming education towards inclusion and quality in the context of global challenges’ and ends Friday.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency