Namibia pledges to implement children’s rights in education

WINDHOEK: The government has pledged and committed to observe and implement children’s rights and ensure that education develops children in the country.

Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Ester Anna Nghipondoka said this in the speech read on her behalf during the opening of the one-day workshop for All Agents of Change in Namibia on Children Right Convention (CRC) about ‘Child Rights, Classroom and School management’ programme on Sunday.

Nghipondoka noted that since the country ratified the United Nations (UN) Convention on children’s rights in 1990, the Learner Centered Education approach and other Namibian education policies were blended in well.

“I am proud to mention that the government of Namibia has already gone miles in this important endeavour,” she said.

Nghipondoka, however, noted that Namibia has a greatest challenge in the implementation of children’s rights in all schools, homes and communities in the country.

She stressed that the commitment to provide the three Ps – protection, provision and participation of children is envisaged by the mandates of her ministry, Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare and Ministry of Safety and Security.

The minister emphasised that Learner Centered Education approach is crucial in the teaching and learning environment in Namibian schools.

“The environment for learner centered approach can only be achieved when we observe the children’s rights to participation, protection and provision,” she said.

Nghipondoka said her ministry has to ensure provision, protection and participations of Namibian children with adequate resources and opportunities.

The minister thanked the government for the Universal Free Education which is an indication towards CRC- provision to the Namibian child.

The government has implemented the free education for all primary schools in 2014 and is currently preparing for the implementation for Secondary level in 2016.

“We appreciate this as it contributes to creating Child Friendly schools in Namibia that are conducive for teaching and learning,” she noted.

Nghipondoka emphasised that it is a responsibility for all stakeholders in education to see the implementation of children’s rights in the country.

The Minister observed that there is need for the government to be pioneers of this CRC activities such as Learner Centred Education; Universal Free Education; and Children’s Rights, Classroom and School management among others, as part of their mandate.

She noted that there is a need for CRC ideals to influence the curriculum development and writing of text books in the country; and to set up a target to achieve 100 per cent child friendly schools in all 14 regions.

This CRC on ‘Child Rights, Classroom and School management’ programme was sponsored by Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

About 32 staff members in the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture consisting of deputy Directors, Lecturers, inspectors of Education, Education Officers, School Principals and teachers had been trained by Sidato to assist in the improvement of the National capacity in implementation the CRC ideas.