UNESCO, UNICEF commend Namibia on International Day of Education

WINDHOEK: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Namibia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have commended the Namibian Government for showing leadership at the Transforming Education Summit.

In a press statement on the International Day of Education, it said the Namibian Government took initiative in addressing the learning crisis and discussing solutions to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030 at the Transforming Education Summit in September 2022.

It further said the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture continues to report high cases of learner pregnancies, high repetition rates in the early grades, as well as dropout rates across the basic education phases, the UN agencies noted.

The Namibia Educational Management Information System (EMIS) of 2022 recorded a high number of Grade 1 repetitions at 17.3 per cent and 18.3 per cent in Grade 4.

‘This confirms the concern that children are completing primary education with
minimal foundational skills. The same EMIS record shows that 17 982 learners dropped out of school during the same calendar year, and of these, a total of 2 739 girls dropped out due to pregnancy.’

Namibia is among the frontrunners in prioritising investment in education, with almost 9 per cent of the GDP allocated to education, but the challenge remains in the foundation learning years, where only about 3 per cent is spent on preparing children for formal education, it cautioned.

‘To make a change, UNESCO calls on the government and all partners to maintain education at the top of the political agenda, deliver on commitments made, promote equitable domestic public financing for education for children in the early years, and emphasise the importance of education.’

UNESCO and UNICEF expressed confidence that the commitments and recommendations made by the 2022 National Conference will enable Namibia to prioritise the transformation of its education system.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24
January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency