New Era (Windhoek)

Southern Africa: Namibia to Recruit SADC Teachers

Windhoek — Cabinet approved the recruitment of teachers from Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to teach in priority fields of specialization for Grades 5 to A level.

During its meeting held on September 03, 2013 Cabinet approved the recruitment of teachers from SADC member states to teach mathematics, English, social and natural sciences, as well as Setswana and to lend support to learners with learning difficulties.

The Teachers Bulletin Vacancy List for 2013 contains 2 227 vacant teaching posts across all 14 regions and at all grade levels.

"This is an indication that the Ministry of Education is in dire need of teachers, especially in the following areas of specialization: mathematics, social and natural sciences, English, Setswana and learning support provision to learners with learning difficulties," according to a media release issued yesterday. The media release further stated that the short supply of teachers is due to changes in ministerial policies and programmes such as the implementation of Universal Primary Education (UPI), which resulted in an increased learner enrolment; piloting of inclusive education; introduction of compulsory mathematics in grades 11 and 12; the allocation of full-time life skills teachers and school librarians, as well as the review of the teacher-learner ratio. "In order to mitigate this situation, the Ministry of Education decided to engage SADC countries that may have a surplus of teachers at both levels of education (primary and secondary).

The countries identified for bilateral discussions and possible recruitment of teachers ahead of the 2014 and 2015 academic years are Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to Ministry of Education the arrangement to recruit surplus teachers from SADC countries is in line with the SADC Protocol on Education and Training and the AU Protocol on Education that allows countries to share resources, including human capital. "These countries were identified for their exceptional human capital development from which Namibia can tap their expertise," the education ministry said.

Cabinet also approved a hike in the hostel subsidy to all government schools from N$12 to N$22 per learner per day as per regional allocation to hostels in line with the prevailing inflation rate.

The Ministry of Education offers subsidies to schools and hostels run by various church denominations.

This seems to be insufficient to cater for the needs of hostels under the various denominations. Church leaders also approached the ministry to consider concluding an agreement to assist the ELCRN with the remuneration of its personnel at all the hostels of the ELCRN and to take over the operations of hostels, which will otherwise be closed. Hostels form an integral part of the educational system.

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