By Eliaser Ndeyanale
REGIONAL councillors who are always criticised for not doing their jobs in their constituencies want power to “discipline young teachers” and control regional education directors.
Contributing to the review of the Education Act, Act no 10 of 2001 and draft of Education Bill on Monday in the National Council, Swapo chief whip in the National Council Lebbeus Tangeni Tobias proposed that the new Education Act which is expected to come into effect in March next year must give regional councillors power to monitor regional educational directors and see if they are indeed doing their jobs “as they (directors) have confined themselves in offices”.
Tobias who is also a councillor for Tsumeb constituency said, “We need to monitor the directors to see whether they are visiting schools. We also need to put mechanism to discipline young teachers as some of these teachers are not doing the jobs they are paid for.”
Also contributing to the discussion was Aminius councillor Peter Kazongominja who called for the introduction of corporal punishment as a measure to control ill-discipline learners, especially in secondary schools.
Linyanti constituency councillor Cletius Sipapela said that there is a need to re-look the requirements for members of school boards because according to him, uneducated people who did not go far with their studies are serving on some of these boards, which he says should not be the case. He added it was difficult for people who had not gone far with their studies to deal with learners’ issues.
However, Sipapela’s argument was shot down by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Sanet Steenkamp who remarked that intelligence does not make good governance of a school.
Swapo’s Lukas Muha raised concerns about the requirements to establish private schools. He said that the requirements are cumbersome and are not in line with the country’s Constitution.
Keetmanshoop Urban constituency councillor Hilma Nicanor suggested that private schools should accommodate more learners from previously disadvantaged background as opposed to the current situation where tuition fees at some private schools are sky high creating an impression that it is tactic to side line racially disadvantaged children.
“In some private schools at Keetmanshoop and Aroab, one does not find black children. If you dig deeper, you will realise it’s an issue of the affordability of the school development fund,” said Nicanor
Cornelius Kanguatjivi from Epukiro constituency stressed that the draft Education Bill must also make provision for every public schools to have ablution facilities as teachers and learners from his constituency make use of the bush when nature calls.
With the introduction of the new Act, prospective learners will be allowed to enrol into public schools even if they do not have birth certificates. All they would be required to have is a letter from their community leaders, like traditional or spiritual leaders.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015