New Era (Windhoek)

22 February 2013

Namibia: Namwandi Is New Education Minister

Windhoek — As widely anticipated President Hifikepunye Pohamba yesterday at State House appointed Dr David Namwandi, who has been the deputy education minister since late March 2010, to the position of Minister of Education.

Namwandi replaces the late Dr Abraham Iyambo who passed away about three weeks ago in London, UK, the President announced at State House yesterday. Silvia Gonaone Makgone was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Education to fill the void left by the elevation of Dr Namwandi who is an educationalist of note. The President said Namwandi was no stranger to the education sector as he has worked closely with Iyambo as a solid team that made great strides to improve education in the country.

Pohamba said Namwandi understands the motto 'deliver, deliver, deliver' and added the education sector is now the full responsibility of Namwandi and that he had no doubt Namwandi is aware that he is stepping in the shoes of a giant. "You are replacing a comrade who earned himself high respect, not only from the appointing authority but also from the Namibian nation and beyond when it comes to delivery," the Head of State emphasised.

Pohamba said service delivery is at the centre of his remaining term of office and resolution number five of the Swapo Party Congress deals specifically with the delivery of quality education.

"The government is also called upon to implement the recommendation of the 2011 Conference on Education," the President said, pointing out that Iyambo's dream of quality education must be realised and his legacy must not die.

The President said he has also taken other measures into consideration when appointing the Deputy Minister, such as gender and the policy of inclusiveness. "Before pre-school, it is our mothers who are the critical teachers of our children," he said, in reference to the appointment of Makgone. He said that despite Makgone's youthfulness, she is well educated and has a wealth of experience in the education sector.

Makgone (49) has been a Swapo Party backbencher in Parliament since 2010. She holds a BA Honours in Education and a BEd from Unisa. She was the Deputy Director of Administration of the Omaheke Regional Council until her entry into politics. She is also a former school principal and teacher of a number of schools in the Omaheke Region. "To you Honourable Minister and Honourable Deputy Minister, I can only repeat my directive, deliver, deliver and deliver for the sake of our nation," he concluded.

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