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German opens doors for Namibian learners

German opens doors for Namibian learners

Staff Reporter

Five learners from schools across Namibia ose to the top and won an all-expenses paid trip to Germany in 2020 after competing compete in the National German as a Foreign Language Competition 2019.

The Goethe-Institut Namibia on Saturday welcomed more than 70 learners from 24 schools across Namibia to compete in the National German as a Foreign Language Competition 2019.
The competition, also known as the Nationaler Sprachwettbewerb 2019, was held for the 32nd time and saw the five learners to the top of German as a Foreign Language in Namibia during the event. They are John Walenga representing St Paul’s College, Anna-Liisa Shikesho from DHPS, Jada Izaks from St Paul’s College, Anna Amukwata from Edugate Academy and Tanyaradzwa Master from Delta Secondary School. Learners from Grade 7 to 11 were chosen at their schools and entered into the competition that is also supported by the PASCH-Schulen network.

Pictured: Winners John Walenga, Anna Amukwata, Jada Izaks, Tanyaradzwa Master, Anna-Liisa Shikesho and (C) Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Namibia, Ellen Gölz.– Photo: Courtesy of the German Embassy

The competition is presented under the auspices of Partners in the Future, an initiative by the German government who through its Foreign Affairs ministry supports the development of the German language at schools through pedagogical training for teachers and equipping classrooms with relevant teaching aids.
Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Namibia, Ellen Gölz encouraged learners to continue pursuing proficiency in a foreign language such as German and noted that representing a school at a competition like this is an achievement alone.
“Opportunities to learn a foreign language fosters dialogue, exchange and cooperation between people and cultures. Many people who learn German develop long-term ties with Germany or other German-speaking people and countries. Knowing German is an asset,” she said.
Echoing such sentiments, Corinna Burth, head of educational cooperation for German at the Goethe-Institut Namibia explained the value of proficiency in German to Namibians. “We are in need of German teachers in Namibia and a competition like this not only motivates learners to pursue a career that can benefit from speaking German, if not a career in teaching German at schools in Namibia. Learners can also pursue other studies in Germany and learning German from an early age is an investment in the right direction,” said Burth.
Learners participating in the competition completed a 30-minutes-long oral examination that gave them the opportunity to showcase their language skills in German. While not sitting in an exam, learners had access to numerous activities such as dancing, watching films in German, making waffles and handicrafts making.
Two of the flights that will take the winners to Germany are sponsored by the German-Namibian Foundation (DNG) that also facilitated the learners’ stay at several guest families while in the country. Another three flights will be provided by the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) through the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia.
This year’s language competition was also made possible through sponsorships by the AGDS (Arbeits- und Fördergemeinschaft Deutscher Schulen in Namibia).
“We are proud to have sponsors such as Namibia Breweries and Swakopmunder Buchandlung that have donated in kindness to make this exciting event possible,” said Burth.

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