By: Hertha Ekandjo
President Hage Geingob says that the Namibian school curriculum doesn’t prepare students for the job market, which is why the country is experiencing a high unemployment rate.
“Education has changed. It is no longer the education I used to teach. Curriculums sometimes don’t prepare people for the job market. That’s a problem, so people with degrees don’t have jobs because they are not prepared for the job market,” said Geingob.
Geingob said this during a meeting with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) director for eastern and southern regions, Mohamed Moustapha Malich Fall, at State House on Wednesday.
According to the UNFPA country representative, Namibia, has one of the youngest populations in Africa, yet it was anticipated to reach a staggering 50.30 per cent youth unemployment rate by the end of 2021.
The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) ‘s secretary-general Kavihuha Mahongora says that the Namibian education system is in the intensive care unit, adding that he was shocked by President Geingob’s comments regarding the state of the school curriculum.
“It came as a shock to us as the labour movement to hear from a president that our school curriculum needs to be reformed so that it can be responsive to the job market. Which he as the government has been denying,” said Mahongora.
He blamed the government for revising the curriculum that he claims has failed and still taking the education system backwards.
The secretary-general accused Geingob of being aware of how much of a failure the education system in the country is, adding that Geingob knows “very well” that the education system needs some settings.
“But he still appoints the wrong people in the right position and also does not ensure that the right people are appointed to the right positions to transform the education system,” he expressed.
He further stated that Namibia’s education system is crafted for a job market that was passed years ago.
Kavihuha added that Geingob’s statement was contrary to his actions and that his way of handling this isn’t like that of a person who knows the difficulties faced within the education system.
“We agree with his statement, but his actions show us that he is trying to rescue the system,” he said.
Moreover, he narrated that revising the curriculum won’t help tackle this issue, but rather a new drafted curriculum will do, stating that the current curriculum has been revised, which means minor changes were made.
He stated that those minor changes brought no change within the education system.
Meanwhile, PDM member of parliament Inna Hengari said that Geingob is good at talking with no action.
“What has he doing about it? He is the president. He is the head of state, so what is he doing about it? No!” she exclaimed.
“The other time, he said that he was not God and that the government was also not God for them to create jobs. But when they campaign in 2024, they will come with the slogan ‘create jobs’. Now, who is fooling who?” Hengari questioned.
Hengari’s motion on youth unemployment in parliament was passed earlier this month and now lies in the hands of the standing parliamentary committee.
She mentioned that Geingob was busy enjoying trips around the world while his people were languishing in poverty and unemployment.
According to her, no change in the curriculum will change the country’s unemployment rate, reasoning that there was a broad pool of unemployment.
Hengari added that Geingob’s administration had failed young people, and people appointed to educate people were sleeping in their positions.
“There are no benefits for young people, apart from a conference named after young people,” she concludes.
Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp was unavailable for a comment.