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National education conference commences in capital

Summary

The national conference on education will activate levers of change that will help the Namibian nation reimagine its education system and revive the momentum of implementing plans to achieve SDG4.This is according to Education, Arts and Culture Ministe…

The national conference on education will activate levers of change that will help the Namibian nation reimagine its education system and revive the momentum of implementing plans to achieve SDG4.

This is according to Education, Arts and Culture Minister, Anna Nghipondoka when she addressed the opening of the national conference on education here Tuesday.

Nghipondoka said in an endeavour to shift away from the fragmented and racially discriminatory education system that existed prior to Namibia’s independence, the nation faced a number of difficulties, some of which had an international origin, had an impact on the entire world, and were interconnected.

The issues faced by the world today, she stressed, are related to globalisation, which may have both favourable and unfavourable impacts on the world’s actors, who are otherwise sovereign nations.

Nghipondoka said the ministry aims to provide inclusive, high-quality education and lifelong learning in order to develop a knowledge-based economy, based on the four broad goals that were adopted at independence, namely access, equity, quality and democracy.

The minister further said the global economic downturn had reduced funding for operational and capital budget allocations to the education, arts and lifelong learning programs for several years. As a result, she said, the backlog in the construction and renovation of educational infrastructure had grown, resulting in overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of overcrowded and dilapidated hostels, and a lack of special rooms such as computer and science labs.

“The availability of teaching and learning materials, such as textbooks, stationery, IT equipment and so on is significantly impacted,” Nghipondoka said.

She went on to say that the present reform, as outlined by the Education Conference of 2011, aims to make Namibia’s education system more demand driven by addressing the country’s developmental needs in terms of the skill sets that students are expected to acquire at various ages and grade levels.

“It is intended to guarantee enhanced access with retention and advancement. In any case, it is well known that the reform met disruptive obstacles, such as the country's economic position, which has been significantly hampered by droughts and COVID-19,” she said.

The conference is being held under the theme ‘Transforming education towards inclusivity and quality in the context of global challenges: re-imagining 2023 and beyond.’

It ends on Friday.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency