To improve the quality of general education, Millenium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) has embarked on an upgrade and rehabilitation programme for local schools.
In the course of this year, MCA-N has renovated and upgraded 47 schools, according to its recent annual report. Education is the second sector to receive a big chunk of MCA-N’s compact fund this year, with the commitment performance for October 2012 to September 2013 standing at US$20.8m (approximately NS$208m). However, since its inception in 2009, MCA-N has pumped US$141m (approximately NS$ 1.4b) into local education.
Out of the 47 schools that have been completed, five are found in Kavango, seven in Oshikoto and one in Otjozondjupa regions. Still due for completion before the end of 2013 are five schools in Khomas, three in Omaheke, two in Otjozondjupa and one in Kunene regions.
All these completed schools are fully furnished and have computers, science lab equipment and library books.
Furthermore, MCA-N through its policy, operational and system development support for general schools, including the University of Namibia (Unam), approximately 180 professionals from the education sector (subject advisors, teacher-educators, education inspectors and education planners) have been trained as master trainers in textbook management utilisation (mathematics, science and English).
Further achievements include the construction and renovation of community skills development centres (COSDECS) at Rundu, Gobabis, Otjiwarongo, Ondagwa and Tsumeb, which are all complete.
Its annual report states; “These facilities are becoming operational as centre management is taking over the buildings. Renovation of the Opuwo COSDEC is also complete, centre staff has moved in and training has resumed.”
The organisation has also started procuring a library information management system that will enable a computerised management of library members, tracking of borrowed books and learning resources to library members through SMS reminders, as well as catering for the statistical analysis of popular lending that will assist with buying new books for collection.
In terms of financing skills developments, 1 863 young Namibians are undergoing training under the Education Vocational Grant Fund in different sectors, such as construction, tourism, hospitality, business management and engineering.
MCA-N also supports the Minister of Education with the implementation of a strategic plan and capacity-building services. It has also been providing advise on higher education finance reform with the aim of advancing equity, efficiency, accountability in higher education resource allocation, utilisation and reporting. The reform was introduced mid this year at the Namibia Students’ Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).