Learners quit school due to long distances to and from school

WINDHOEK: Hostels should be introduced to avoid learners from dropping out of school because of long distances they have to walk to and from school.

This proposal was one of many tabled on Monday during the start of a stakeholders meeting to discuss the development of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP).

Participants of the three-day consultative conference noted with concern that the long distances to and from school is a contributing factor to learners not completing their education.

They proposed that all new schools to be build in the future should have hostels, or the Ministry of Education (MoE) should introduce transport for the affected learners to and from school.

Another concern raised by the stakeholders is the quality of adult education. Some participants say it is difficult to ensure quality adult education, because the teachers who tutor adults are only employed on one-year contracts, and quit mid-contract when they find ‘greener pastures’.

This then forces the MoE to employ inexperienced teachers.

In addition, the meeting felt that private schools should be compelled by the MoE to take in all types of learners – not only good performers or 10 per cent of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, as is currently the case.

The meeting aims to provide input on the NHRAP to be developed by the Office of the Ombudsman – the national human rights institution.

Such rights include the right to health and education, access to justice, land, adequate housing, water and sanitation.

The development of the NHRAP follows the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria in 1993, which recommended that “each State considers the desirability of drawing up a nation action plan identifying steps where the State should improve the protection and promotion of human rights.”