MP wants government to regulate operations at private schools

Stefanus Nashama

A motion has been tabled in the National Assembly by lawmaker Hidipo Hamata, requesting the government to regulate operations at private schools and vocational training institutions.

According to Hamata, unregulated private schools and vocational centres are a pressing concern that affects the foundation of the education system in Namibia.

Hamata argues that unregulated private schools can be a disservice to the education system, hindering the growth and potential of both educators and learners.

He highlights that some private schools do not provide fair wages to teachers and that some learners are being excluded from school due to unpaid school fees.

Additionally, he raises concerns about educators at such institutions being forced to work outside of normal school hours without additional payment.

Hamata also notes that some educators are not receiving their payments on time.

He stated that some private schools prefer foreigners to Namibians for job opportunities, and calls for government intervention to prevent discrimination and unfair remuneration in the education system.

To address these issues, Hamata proposes that the government establish guidelines that prevent discrimination, economic exploitation and unfair remuneration in the education system.

He also wants private schools to register with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture before the commencement of each year’s school calendar.

Teaching at private schools has become a major concern in the country, the parliamentarian states, adding that some people working at such schools have raised the issue of being paid lower wages compared to the quality of the work they do.

In February this year, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) released a statement condemning the conduct of some private schools, denying learners the chance to mourn the late President Hage Geingob.

Equally, some employees working at such schools have raised the matter before, citing unfair labour practices they are getting from their employers.

This includes a teacher at a private school in Windhoek, who chose to speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation and expressed the need for the government to regulate private schools, particularly in areas such as employee salaries and working hours.

“This will help us carry out our responsibility with full commitment like our colleagues at public schools. Otherwise, the situation is neglecting many of us, leaving us with no choice but to cut our commitment,” said the source.

She reiterated that education is a priority for all Namibian children, but private schools and vocational training centres seem to solely focus on making money instead of offering quality education.

The teacher added that for such schools to perform well, teachers should be motivated to deliver on the education mandate.

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