The Namibian (Windhoek)

5 February 2013

Namibia: Nantu and Finnish Teachers' Union Sign Agreement

THE Namibia National Teachers' Union (Nantu) and the Trade Union of Education of Finland (OAJ) have signed a three-year agreement on training.

Nantu secretary general Basilius Haingura signed the agreement on behalf of Nantu in Windhoek last Thursday, while the special advisor of OAJ, Ritva Semi, signed on behalf of the Finnish union.

According to Haingura the main goal of the agreement is to promote the civil rights of Nantu members, democratic decision-making processes and social dialogue between Nantu members, unions and education leaders and education administration.

"The agreement specifically aims to strengthen the role of civil society in education and development of education. One of the main aims is to reinforce the role of civil society and the teachers union at local levels," said Haingura.

He said the agreement is made in pursuance of Nantu's persistent need to train its members in understanding aspects of the labour law and other issues pertaining to the professional development of its members. "The training will mainly invest in human capital."

"We need to tackle the issue of unprofessionalism. Coming late and coming unprepared for lessons is improper and teachers need to know how to address these issues. We need to know how to commit ourselves to our work and to have knowledge on labour law, labour rights and our responsibilities," Haingura said.

Finland's Semi said they decided to join hands with Nantu because they want to develop education in the whole world as well as to develop the status of the unions.

She pointed out that in order for a country to earn good education status the dialogue between trade unions and the government needs to be normal.

"Both sides need to work together and have a good relationship in order to bear good results," Semi said.

Semi applauded the Namibian government for the free primary education policy that has been implemented this year.

"I believe that free education is very important because its the only way to educate the whole nation."

OAJ will make financial contribution and technical support for the period of three years for the training activities.

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