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Quality education no smooth sail

Sun, 2 December 2012 21:12
by Jemima Beukes

Government’s aspiration to ensure quality education will not be smoothsailing, said permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Alfred Ilukena during the fifth two-day International Public Dialogue on Education for All held at the Safari Hotel last week.
Ilukena highlighted that despite the expertise and skills shared, the implementation of quality education remains a serious obstacle, as not every recommendation might be realised in the near future.
“We have a number of recommendations but what remains a challenge is their operationalisation. What we can however do is sit down again and look at what we can do to impact this,” Ilukena said, adding, a head-over-heels approach will not be ideal but that Government will have to look for where to start and gradually move forward.
“There are challenges emerging at every juncture. We now need to confront our reality to see how to provide education to every child. In terms of teacher education, we need to see where we go wrong, perhaps we could look at policies and see how to influence them,” he further urged.
Alluding to the provision of education for all, international education consultant, Bill Ratteree said, “ We want every child, from the poorest of the poor to have a chance on good education by motivated and keen teachers.”
Meanwhile, 11 unidentified teachers staged a silent demonstration during the conference by failing to utter a single word.
A flabbergasted Ilukena said despite questioning them continuesly, none said a word.
“I have no idea who they were. They just stood there, none of them spoke. I repeatedly asked them what the problem was but none of them said anything. I do not even know whether or not they were really teachers or if they were from the streets,” he said.
An eye-witness said the dumb-struck teachers waved protest placards with Marxist slogans on them and only one of then claimed to be a teacher from the Kavango Region. He said he was dissatisfied with the organistion of the conference.