Dr Abraham Iyambo says despite the magnificent progress in setting up the vocational education and training system, nothing has been done to expand training centres and all buildings lying idle should be converted into such centres
The Minister of Education Abraham Iyambo wants the former Ramatex buildings turned into a vocational training centre.
Iyambo said this while addressing delegates at the review meeting of the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) outside Windhoek which ended Friday.
The Minister who could not hide his dissatisfaction with the manner in which Grade 10 and 12 dropouts end up in the street said he has already discussed the issue with the new board of the National Training Authority (NTA).
“I also would like to see all education stakeholders pushing for the expansion of more vocational training centres particularly in remote areas as we have many idle buildings around the country apart from Ramatex,” said Iyambo.
Iyambo said he does not want to be idle about the high unemployment rate in the country and told delegates that he has a problem with dumping a Namibian child on the street.
He added that it should be mandatory that each Namibian child who fails Grade 10 is not just discharged into the street, but encouraged to undergo vocational training and thus become skilled to contribute to the development of Namibia.
“We should establish avenues to accommodate these children back into formal education to acquire skills that will help them play an active role in the development of Namibia,” Iyambo said.
Despite the magnificent progress in setting up the vocational education and training system and the NTA, Iyambo said it was not followed with the expansion of training centres to improve access to such education.
He said this situation has meant that many Namibian youths are roaming the streets unskilled.
“We have not seen an increase in the supply of skilled workers, or new vocational education centres in many of our regions,” Iyambo told the delegates.
On the issue of houses for teachers in rural areas, Iyambo said Government has not answered the call for teachers’ housing in rural schools.
He noted that housing, in addition to bush allowance, is an incentive to attract and retain teachers at rural schools.
The Minister challenged the education sector to construct at least a hundred houses for teachers before year end. He said this is achievable if all stakeholders are committed to being implementers hinting that he is ready to consider re-allocating some of the budget money to this project.
“As a ministry we must make sure no cent is returned to Government coffers at the end of the financial year. We must spend it all on the projects that we have discussed and I am sure our development partners are ready to help us in this regard,” said Iyambo.