By: Hertha Ekandjo
The higher education minister Itah Kandji-Murangi says she attended the world education forum in the United Kingdom for Namibia to study effective strategies and methods other countries employed during Covid-19.
The World Education Forum started on 22 May and ended on 25 May.
“We are looking forward to, in terms of how we build on what worked for other countries, so that we can make our education system better, stronger and bolder in the midst of whatever challenges we may face while going forward,” said Kandji-Murangi.
She said that challenges could be another pandemic, problems that may arise due to climate change such as floods, drought and many more.
According to her, these challenges can also negatively affect the education system. When there is a flood, she said, some learners will not be able to excess education as they usually do.
“The different sessions that we have attended so far is that there have been different ways of dealing with the pandemic,” she said.
Kandji-Murangi said that as much as the pandemic was a challenge, it has pushed different countries to the point where they will become innovative. This includes Namibia.
She said that in the phase of a pandemic that took so many lives, universities could still graduate students, showing humanity’s resilience.
“As education ministers, we are saying we have what it takes to move our different nationals’ states in the face of whatever challenge, whether it is a pandemic, climatic induced challenge,” said the higher education minister.
She further said that what they, as education ministers, can do is focus and prioritise their funding and the projects they choose to move with the few resources at their disposal.
According to her, all countries have stood out their respective citizens, as they applied their different modalities and methods that were useful and suitable to them.
She stated that some of the most key things that she came across were the lockdowns. She questioned if the lockdowns and the quick shift to online learning were the only best solution that could be found.
“We really need to double up our socks as ministers of education, as government to see that those who have fallen behind should be brought back on track,” she said.
She further said that the Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Namibia is not fully digitalised.
Kandji-Murangi led a delegation of three, the heads of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA), Namibia Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and Namibia Training Authority (NTA), to the Education World Forum in London, the UK.
According to her education, World Forum is the world’s largest gathering of Education, Skills, Technology and Innovation.
Among many objectives, the Forum this year seeks to create platforms for critical debates on how to provide effective support and promote innovative solutions to countries’ education systems post-Covid-19, to improve equity, quality and relevance of curricula, teaching, learning and assessment processes and outcomes.
The 2022’s Forum’s theme is “Education: Building Forward Together; Stronger, Bolder, Better.
“This theme is carefully identified to guide the EWF 2022’s discussions and debates toward solutions for challenges facing the education sector globally due to the pandemic,” said Kandji-Murangi.
She added that participating ministers indicated the severity of how different education systems were affected while at the same time bringing to the fore the strategies that proved effective.
She further said this is to help governments learn from one another. The meeting was also organised to help governments think of the best ways the education sector could accelerate governments’ recovery from the negative effects of Covid-19.