The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) stressed that they do not condone the use of alcohol at school, as teachers are supposed to be exemplary at all times.
Permanent Secretary of MoEAC Sanet Steenkamp said that the use of alcohol in a school environment is in contradiction with the Education Act as well as the Code of Conduct. This comes at the time of widespread talks of teachers who excessively consume alcoholic substances and behaving recklessly in the public, knowing that a learner or their parent can see them and neglecting lessons.
“In fact, alcohol or any equipment, if such material are contrary to public interest or the best interest of learners are prohibited on school grounds as per the Education Act no. 16 of 2001. Teachers must promote acceptable moral standards and development amongst learners. It is therefore important that teachers and educators are exemplary in and outside of the school environment,” Steenkamp said.
As per teaching service regulations, a teacher, in relation to the teaching profession, must under no circumstance attend school activities whether during or after formal classes while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug.
The teaching service as a core component of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture commits itself to provide quality education to all learners in Namibia that promote not only functional literary, language, numeracy and intellectual development, but also social and cultural development as well as civic responsibility, Steenkamp said.
Such behaviour of misconduct that is not in compliance with the public service regulations has implications. The Ministry is guided by the Public Service Act no. 13 of 1995 section (26) (12) (a) and public service code of conduct has punitive measures to be taken against teachers who refuses to comply with the act.
In accordance with the Public Service Act no. 13 of 1995 section 25 the stipulations state that any staff member in the public service shall be guilty of misconduct if he or she uses intoxicating liquor excessively or uses stupefying drugs without a prescription of a medical practitioner resulting in his or her incapacity to perform his or her duties effectively.
This act is applicable to all public servants, including teachers. Once the Ministry has proven abuse of alcohol or any other drugs, the Ministry may lay a charge against such a teachers.
“If the disciplinary committee finds the staff member charged guilty of the misconduct with which he or she has been charged, the chairperson shall forth submit to the commission and permanent secretary concerned a copy of the record of the proceedings at the inquiry,” she said.
This would Include documentary evidence adduced at the inquiry, together with a written statement of the, disciplinary committee’s findings and its reasons thereof and its recommendation that, staff member charged be cautioned or reprimanded.
Teachers who abuse alcohol and behave recklessly will be imposed a fine not exceeding N$2 000. If not the aforementioned, he or she will be transferred to any other post.
“The teacher found in this act will be retained in employment additional to the establishment his or her salary or scale of salary or rank be reduced or decreased, or both, to such an extent as may be recommended, or he or she be discharged or be called upon to resign from public service,” Steenkamp said.