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Education starts at home

by Tirivangani Masawi

Education is not all about studying mathematics and biology but there are other aspects inherited from our forefathers which seem unimportant today.

I learnt a couple of things when I started covering education. I had the desire to bring the unseen in the sector to light. I even wrote an open letter to the honourable Dr Abraham Iyambo. Too bad he might never read the letter nor act on it because of unforeseen circumstances.

I still maintain the same argument I raised in my letter to Dr Iyambo that we should start institutionalising an ‘everyone’s-child-policy’ in our education sector because a child is not a preserve of the mother and father alone but a responsibility of society.

I have learnt that the education sector, as vital as it may be, is muddled with blame games about who is doing what and who is not doing what. Such perceptions will not take us anywhere. What we need today is a collective approach to nurturing our children for a better tomorrow.

Today, most of us would boast that we are where we are because of our own efforts, which is wrong. This is the type of attitude which is contradicts our African norms.

 We have graduates that believe they made it because they are better than others. They were not taught the concept of ubuntu.

Education in Namibia will only prosper under team effort.
In Oshiwambo they say Nekwa lya tsima oye ngaa nyoko (Your mother is your mother even if she is the poorest of the poor) and another one says Waapandula noyaka (If you do not appreciate the efforts of others then you are doomed).
We need to encourage parents to bring back Ohungi (storytelling) in their households.

The Chinese and Japanese have never alienated their cultures in pursuit of development. In fact, they incorporated western aspects in their quest for development which made them stronger and successful.

Informal education paves the way for formal education. Our desire for knowledge and development never dies. To encourage this desire for knowledge, the Ministry of Education would do a great job if they start giving motivational lessons to learners using local business people and technocrats to share their experiences.

Education from an African perspective should teach individuals that they are where they are either because parents had to dig deep into their pockets for our education, or because of stakeholders who contributed to molding them into productive members of the community.

You may be an engineer, a doctor or teacher but if you do not appreciate the contribution of others towards your growth, what legacy would you leave behind?

With such collective responsibility, Namibia will gain more just like my role model, John Nangombe Walenga once said to me, “Take it from me, if you do not know the value of your brand; any fool can make money out of it.”

These might have been words said for free but they shaped me. They gave me the courage to wake up each morning and go to work and eventually it helped me to believe that just by a stroke of a pen I can change a lot.

Any individual is a brand on his own right. The way we manage and present ourselves influences the lifestyle we live.
The education sector should also make use of mentors. These could be teachers or seniors, learners mentoring their peers in school subjects, or life skills.

Mentors play an effective role in the development of an individual. My mentor Confidence Musariri once said to me “Self confidence is the mother of all success. It is good for individuals’ growth and also for the company.”

Omalaeti Media Group is family, but as it is in our African culture, a son always leaves to marry a woman of choice and embark on a life journey that will bring both new challenges and opportunity.

This is true today as I say goodbye to Omalaeti Media Group, to join the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology as Chief Information Officer.