Namibia: The Relevance of Student Leadership in Namibia

20 March 2020

After 30 years of independence, student leaders in the country continue to fight for the rights and the wellness of the Namibian students. New Era sat down with a few student leaders in the country to get their take on the status of student leadership.

Bernhard Kavau, the secretary-general of the Student Union of Namibia, said student leadership remains one of the essential movements in the country. He added that student leaders have inspirations and fresh ideas, which are in the best interest of Namibia, especially economic emancipation, the education fraternity, public discourse such as corruption and the wellbeing of the people.

"In most cases, our leaders both government and private - have a selective mentality of politicising or paying a deaf ear to new ideas, as they are more interested in which source the information is coming from," said the highly active student leader.

Kavau believes that most of student leadership's ideas tend to fall on deaf ears, hence decision-makers prefer to hear suggestions within their circle (political) or selective morality.

However, suggestions and contributions by the students' leaders are always available even though only 5% of their contributions are welcomed.

He further added that the rejection of student leaders results in them taking radical interventions such as demonstrations to achieve their goals.

"Demonstration is the only last resort student leaders resort to when decision-makers ignore their calls," he stated.

Before independence, students gathered themselves to contribute towards bringing independence to the country, which is a reflection of the national demonstration students had before independence.

According to the former president of the Namibia National Students Organisation, Ester Simon, student leadership in the country has been playing a major role in ensuring free and quality education, which makes it relevant.

"Student leaders need to be acknowledged because they are fighting to ensure they bring upon academic freedom towards the students they are serving," explained Simon, who is also part of the country's economic panel. ◆

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