Government has crafted mechanisms to continue implementing programmes designed in the education sector under the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) which is winding down operations in two months.
Ministry of Education (MoE), Public Relations Officer Johanna Absalom said the government will continue these projects when the MCA officially lapses revealing that the MoE has been running these projects in close collaboration with the MCA.
“The government will continue with the projects because it does not depend on the MCA budget alone to run the projects. In fact, in the area of education, government through the Ministry of Education has been running the projects in close partnership with the MCA-Namibia” said Absalom.
“The government has also budgeted for funds to facilitate projects such as building schools, classrooms and many more projects as stipulated in the agreement. The budget allocated to such projects to be sustained efficiently,” she added.
Absalom added that ,“In terms of the construction of schools, MCA-Namibia was operational in ten regions (incl. Kavango East and Kavango West). For other activities such as the provision and purchase of 1.7 million English, Science and Mathematics textbooks for grade 5-12 learners, MCA-Namibia delivered to all 14 regions. The upgrading and construction of all 47 schools have been completed; most have been handed over to the Ministry and only a few still need to be handed over (Kunene, Otjozondjupa)”
Other sub-activities were technical assistance to improve school maintenance and administration, equipment for Colleges of Education (CoEs), baseline study of textbook needs, procurement of English, mathematics and science textbooks, textbook management training, textbook management training, investment in construction and management of Regional Study and Resource Centres (RSRCs), construction of 3 Regional Study and Resource Centres (RSRCs) and technical assistance and training for RSRCs.
“Through the MCA-N, all the principals have been trained and appointed trainers continue to engage and train key school leaders such as principals, education officers and inspectors in instructional leadership positions,”she said.
The United States of America Government and Namibia entered into an agreement called the Millennium Challenge Account, MCA through the Millennium Challenge Compact for five years but now this agreement lapses this year.
The MCA was meant to provide grant funding for public investments in Education, Tourism and Agriculture (livestock and indigenous natural products).
US$304.5m(Approximately N$3.4b) was made available for development in the target sectors over and above current Government allocations and assistance from other development partners.
The main aims of MCA-Namibia was to curb poverty through economic growth in the Education, Tourism and Agriculture sectors, it also aimed at improving the quality of education and training for the underserved populations.
The infrastructure improvements of the 47 schools of which, among other specific improvements included the construction of additional classrooms, addition of teacher hostels (at selected rural schools), repair of dilapidated walls, flooring, and roofing; the addition of facilities including libraries, administrative blocks, and science laboratories; and the provision of water supply, sanitation, and electricity access.