By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Oshikoto education directorate is being criticised for approving the Onyaanya circuit to host a teachers’ one-day conference which cost the directorate more than N$50 000.
The conference was hosted by Onyaanya circuit under the theme, ‘Environment, our heritage and fundamental identity’ at Ekamuti Lodge in Ondangwa on Monday.
The conference was attended by teachers from all schools within the Onyaanya circuit and the keynote speaker was Environment Minister, Pohamba Shifeta.
“Can you believe how much these people are spending for a one day event? I mean who spends more than N$50 000 for a conference attended by less than 100 teachers. This is bad spending considering the shortage of classrooms and infrastructure that the directorate is faced with,” said one of the disappointed teachers who attended the conference.
Moses Uugwanga, the inspector of Onyaanya circuit did not want to comment on matter saying that he needed more time to answer questions posed at him.
“I cannot answer you right now. I need more time to look at your questions, in order to give you more information on the matter,” he said.
The speculators also criticised the directorate for not inviting any teachers’ unions or representative at the conference. Lameck Kafidi, the education director of Oshikoto region could understand the criticism levelled against the directorate saying that he did not see anything wrong with the hosting of the event at such a cost.
“I believe that every Namibian is entitled to freedom of speech. We have a reason why we host such conferences; in fact that is not the first time we are spending so much like that. Sometimes we host events and we spend more than N$50 000, so there is no reason for people to criticise the amount of money that we spent on Monday,” said Kafidi.
“Let them talk, we will continue hosting such conferences, we will not stop. We host such conferences annually in order for the teachers to come together and tackle issues affecting our directorate and the pupils as well. I am positive that the conference has yielded positive results. Investment is worthwhile”.
According to sources the directorate is faced with a number of challenges such as limited capital budget/funds to finance the development initiatives in the region, lack of inadequate funding for distance students and limited educational infrastructure.
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