The European Commission (EU) Head of Delegation to Namibia, Ambassador Raul Fuentes Milani, in the capital yesterday handed over N$123 million to the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo, for national educational development.
The donation is part of the EU Education Sector Policy Support Programme, through which the EU has committed over N$420 million to assist the government in achieving universal primary education and ensuring equality in educational opportunities.
Milani said that delivering more and better education is complex, and elements that impact upon access, quality and inclusion in education have to be addressed at all levels, from early childhood development to higher education.
"Access cannot be disjointed from quality and equity. Pre-primary education cannot be isolated from secondary education," he said. He said one challenge witnessed in education is long-term investment, which rarely yields results overnight, but "there is considerable progress being made in Namibia".
Milani said pre-primary enrolment has increased from 3.3 percent in 2008 to 12.8 percent in 2011, and that the Grade 1 school dropout rate has also been reduced.
Education Minister Dr Iyambo said it is heartening to know the partnership will continue until next year, since 2013 will mark an important milestone in the education sector.
"It is a year that will be remembered for the introduction of universal primary education in Namibia. Also a year that heralds the implementation of higher education reform," he said.
Iyambo further said that the ministry looks forward to receiving the technical support it has requested for capacity building.
"On behalf of the Namibian child, I thank you for your continuous and substantial assistance to the education and training sector," the education minister said.