Education in Namibia
- improve access to Early Childhood development and pre-primary education;
- expand the quality of all education, including senior secondary education, vocational education and training, pre-entry tertiary education and training programmes;
- build system equity, quality and efficiency;
- strengthen the national knowledge of and response to HIV/AIDS;
- strengthen the national knowledge and innovation system;
- create an enabling environment for the development of lifelong learning;
- improve school leadership and management;
- introduce free primary education, and
- implement the Namibian School Feeding Programme.
- Namibia Vision 2030
- The National Development Plans
- Education for All National Plan of Action ( 2001-2015)/EFA Goals
- Millennium Development Goals (2015)/ MDG’s
- National Policy Options for Educationally Marginalized Children, and
- Toward Education for All: A Development Brief for Education, Culture, and Training: 1993
Message from The Minister for Education
The Hon. Dr. David Namwandi
Our major priorities for advancing education in Namibia during the coming 5-10 years are to:
Education in Namibia faces challenges at the national and regional levels. National challenges include a shortage of skilled workers, for example qualified artisans, technicians, engineers, medical doctors and researchers; high unemployment levels among secondary and tertiary education graduates; and an inefficient use and distribution of resources as well as a general shortage of books and instructional materials. At the regional level there are concerns regarding teacher competence and parental involvement in children’s education as well as a growing concern about the quality and efficiency of education delivered triggered by poor performance in schools. National and regional continuous professional development units are being introduced though again this is proving challenging.
Among the initiatives implemented to improve educational quality and lead to greater inclusion are the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) and the National Standards and Performance Indicators for Schools in Namibia (NSPISN). NSPISN is aimed at improving quality teaching and learning at individual schools. The programme ensures that each school continuously evaluates its own performance and identifies aspects that need improvement. ETSIP is aimed at improving the quality of education by responding to the call of Vision 2030 and facilitating the transition to a knowledge-based economy. The programme is phased in at three five-year cycles, coinciding with the National Development Plans. The sub-sectors and strategic objectives of ETSIP are distributed over the 15-year ETSIP Strategic Plan, the first phase of implementation taking place 2006–11 and the second and current phase of implementation 2012–16). The programme includes critical cross cutting issues that are mainstreamed into the key sub-programmes and cover the themes of ICTs, HIV and AIDS, and capacity development.
ETSIP activities are aligned to the following national and international ratified documents:
The main challenges of ETSIP were monitoring and evaluating progress as well as ensuring the effectiveness of the training approach. However, observations and inspections of schools and classrooms demonstrated that teachers had become more positive towards teaching and learning following the initiative and parents had become more committed and supportive towards both learners and teachers.
Joined Commonwealth: 1990
Population: 2,171,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 2.0% p.a. 1990-2009
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 105
Net primary enrolment: 90.1% (2009)
Net secondary enrolment: 54.4% (2008)
Gross tertiary enrolment: 8.9% (2008)
Adult literacy: 88.5% (2009)
Public spending on education was 6.4% of GDP in 2007. There are ten years of compulsory education starting at age six. Net enrolment ratios are 90.1% for primary (2009) and 54.4% for secondary (2008), with a gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined of 71.2% (2008). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 30:1 (2009) and for secondary 25:1 (2008). In 1993 English became the main language of instruction, replacing Afrikans. The Namibian Constitution provides free education until the age of 16 or completion of primary education. Some 83% of pupils complete primary school (2008). The school year starts in January.
About 8.9% of the relevant age group is enrolled in tertiary education (2008). Tertiary education is at the University of Namibia, established in 1993. There is also a polytechnic as well as technical and teacher-training colleges. Namibia College of Open Learning provides open and distance learning. The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 0.66:1 (2008). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 93% (2009). There are extensive adult literacy programmes.
Government policy on education aims to increase the number of fully qualified teachers and to raise the quality of education in schools by giving teachers ongoing support and training.