13 July 2017

Namibia: Mushrooming of Unregistered Schools a Concern

Swakopmund — The director of education in Erongo Region, John Awaseb, has raised concern over the mushrooming of unregistered and unlicensed private schools at Walvis Bay.

Awaseb who spoke to New Era last week on the issue, said they were aware of at least four unregistered schools currently operating at Walvis Bay without proper documentation.

However, the number could be more, he said, adding that such schools also put their learners' education at risk by employing unqualified teachers, as well as foreign teachers, whose qualifications are not reviewed or accredited by the Namibian Qualifications Authority.

"A registered private school or tuition centre is issued a certificate of registration, and thus parents and guardians should demand to see such certificate of registration before they register their children at such schools," Awaseb advised.

He added that normally unregistered schools are supposed to be closed down until they are fully registered. He then advised such schools to apply for registration, in accordance with the Education Act to avoid legal action and closure.

"At the end of the day it's only the students and their parents - who have paid exorbitant monthly tuition fees - that suffer," he said, adding that in many cases the parents and owners do not inform the ministry of their institutions until there are problems at the schools that require the intervention of the ministry.

"We only detect such schools through the complaints of unhappy parents. Thus we want to appeal to all parents to rather do proper background checks of such schools before enrolling their children," he said.

According to Awaseb, several parents last week pleaded with the ministry not to close down an unregistered private school at Walvis Bay, because of the impact it would have on their children. The said school is now being assisted to register and become fully compliant with the ministry's requirements.

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