MP wants more schools and teachers

Stefanus Nashama

Hidipo Hamata, a Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Member of Parliament, wants the government to build more schools and employ more teachers to ensure quality education for Namibian children.

Hamata was of the opinion that while the government has the mandate to provide universal basic education it also needs to have sufficient places in schools for all Namibian children.

Hamata was contributing to the motion concerning the discussion of the issue of poor performance of government schools in Parliament this week.

The parliamentarian further stated that the government should make sure that schools are adequately staffed, constructed where they are needed, be accessible to learners in those areas.

He believes the government wastes resources to have underused schools in a few areas.

“It is a waste of resources to have underused school buildings in one place and very overcrowded classrooms in another,” he stated.

At the same time, Hamata mentioned there is an urgent need to address barriers that keep children from going to school.

Despite this, he outlined that the reality in schools paints a stark contrast to this noble aspiration.

“Parents are burdened with the financial responsibilities of purchasing school stationery, providing food for those in hostels, and meeting various other expenses, which is not good at all,” stressed Hamata.

On the contrary, these financial burdens contradict the constitutional mandate and hinder the realisation of free and accessible education for all, he added.

According to the presentation by Hamata on the motion, the current amount of N$300.00 per child does not meet the basic needs in schools.

“One wonders how the Swapo-led government arrived at this amount. This amount is insufficient to cover essential expenses such as making copies, buying papers for copies, and acquiring necessary supplies like copy machine ink.

“As a result, our dedicated teachers are forced into the unenviable position of seeking additional funding through fundraising and soliciting donations. This not only diverts their focus from teaching but also compromises the quality of education our children receive,” Hamata reiterated.

He argued that it is disheartening to witness the strain on parents and teachers when they grapple with the financial challenges imposed upon them.

This, he said, hinders academic performance in government schools.

Hamata is concerned about the burden of seeking resources, saying it should not be a weight carried by parents and teachers.

“This is a shared responsibility that our government must bear to uphold the constitutional promise of free education,” he mentioned.

The parliamentarian urged the government to look into the matter.

He equally encouraged fellow lawmakers to advocate for the return of the pre-method of direct procurement and distribution of essential supplies to government schools through circuits.

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