The Namibian Literacy Trust (NLT) officially launched the report on the state of the youth and adult learning and education (YALE) in Namibia in Otjiwarongo last week.
The results show room for improvement in youth and adult learning education in Namibia with the aid of enhanced governance, funding, improved policies, provision and stakeholders’ involvement.
The research was conducted countrywide by University of Namibia’s Dr Kavena Shalyefu with the assistance of the NLT as from 2010 to 2011.
The purpose of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of the current delivery of education and training to out-of-school youth and adults as well as identify the effectiveness of such learning institutions.
The event was attended by other stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, deputy permanent secretary (DPS) Hannu Shipena, Aune Odulami of CABIN, Namibia Training Authority (NTA) representatives and other interested parties.
The study shows that more people without formal education have taken up courses with NLT to acquire skills to stand a chance at getting jobs. During the discussions at the launch, issues concerning the ineffectiveness of the policies made to protect and enhance youth and adult education took centre stage.
“Low implementation of policies is a challenge, so is the insufficient use of funds allocated to this sector,” Deputy PS Shipena said while addressing the attendees.
Despite the sizable budgetary allocation to the education system, the output of the system does not match the input.
The study shows that the lack of will, cultural bias, mismatch in human resources, desperate governance, lack of a comprehensive enabling act and technical operations are some of the gaps Namibia has to tend to.
Participants called for more talks in the education sector to discuss the dire financial situation of YALE.
There is also a need to reshape of YALE in order to meet the standards of NDP4 by 2015 as well as come up with an effective plan to reshape it after 2015.
The discussions at the launch suggested recommendations for amending of the relevant Acts of Parliament on out-of-school-youth and adult education in the nearer future. Other recommendations were the developing of advocacy strategies for YALE, gradual increase of YALE’s budget, ensuring that people who are involved in YALE activities are also involved in the budgetary process at regional and national level as well as the civil society through the NLT and strengthening co-ordination and collaboration amongst all factors.
It was also agreed that jobs be created for the literacy promoters as there is a growing population of school drop-outs, which is an imperfection in the formal education system, thus solutions must be looked into.
A growing need for the funding for YALE programmes was also identified and it was agreed that innovative ways to engage adult education participants should be pursued.
Agencies at all levels, including Government ministries that are involved in youth and adult education were called upon to overtly identify themselves as being such providers and to assist in deepening the understanding of both key players and the public about the importance and priority of youth and adult education as well as reduce ignorance, let alone the prejudice that comes with it.