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Education ministry devising performance agreements for teachers – Steenkamp

Education ministry devising performance agreements for teachers – Steenkamp

Staff Reporter

THE Education Ministry’s Executive Director (ED), Sanet Steenkamp, said that the ministry has been asked by the treasury why the education sector has the current results it has, if 83% to 85% of the education budget is spent on the teachers, adding that the government together with unions are devising performance agreements to regulate the work of teachers.

In the year 2022/23 the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture was allocated N$14.1 billion, equivalent to 19.9% of the budget.

“We need to make it clear that at this stage, the Ministry of Education, NANTU and the Office of the Prime Minister are coming up with performance agreements for teachers. At this stage, we only sign performance agreements are only signed from education minister to education directors. Teachers and principals do not sign this agreement,” Steenkamp said.

PICTURED: Sanet Steenkamp, Executive Director within the Education ministry. Photo: File

Touching on the teachers’ qualifications, she noted that the Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) statistics of 2020 indicates that out of 31 462, a total of 27 547 (87.6%) of teachers were qualified. From 2016, the education ministry, through the University of Namibia (UNAM), was engaged to upgrade the teaching competences and skills of 3000 un-and under-qualified teachers at the junior primary phase (pre-primary to grade 3).

The ministry trained teachers (Pre-primary, Grade 1-9, NSSCO and NSSCAS) through induction workshops to prepare them for the introduction of revised (and new) curriculum: 8 000 for Junior Primary, 19 935 for Senior Primary, 9 735 for Junior Secondary, 4 827 for NSSCO and 1 800 for NSSCAS were trained.

“The learning losses our children faced because of Covid-19 and equalities, and the climate crisis (look at the floods in the north) will still haunt this country for generations, however, this should not hold us hostage, but move us into determined action. if all stakeholders do not come on board, the current results are likely to remain for the next three years,” Steenkamp warned.

Edda Wibke Bohn, the Deputy ED in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture also gave an overview of the education sectors challenges in the country.

“Early Childhood Development, ECD centres, currently only caters for 29% of learners, and over 55% of learners in ECD’s are five to eight years old. These learners belong in the formal education system. However, these learners are stuck in ECD centres as the next available primary school is too far away,” Bohn said.

She noted that in relation to Vision 2030, total population count shows that, not all primary learners end up in secondary. Bohn stressed that, in terms of the national development goals, that is a problem.

“The relatively small population that reaches secondary shows that results of candidates that sat for the National Senior Secondary Examination has decreased. In 2020, 27 008 learners took the final exam, in 2021 a total of 46 977 sat for the exam before decreasing to 38 019 learners in 2022 who took the exam,” Bohn said.

The two EDs made these remarks at an education conference held by the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM).

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