As Namibia joins the rest of the world to celebrate Education for All week, the Ministry of Education has launched a campaign to register all street children around the country to bring them back into learning institutions.
Ministry of Education, Permanent Secretary, Alfred Ilukena, told The Villager that there are many children within the Namibian society who cannot access education due to many factors.
“As a Ministry we are not happy seeing children of school going age roaming the streets. We cannot claim to be providing education to all if we are not putting in place a mechanism that will enable these children to be back in schools,” said Ilukena.
Ilukena pointed that some of the factors contributing to children being in the streets can be attributed to poverty as some may be orphans and vulnerable children struggling to make a living with no one to take care of them.
However, he noted that not all street children are in the street due to poverty as some may just not be interested in attending school and called on parents to be more involved in encouraging their children to be committed to education.
He revealed that the Ministry does not have a proper data on the number of such children which has hampered the planning process.
Ilukena said once the Ministry has credible data on the number of street children and where they are mostly concentrated, it will be easier for them to plan and come up with a mechanism to enable them to be back in schools.
“We know street children exist, but we do not have proper data on where they are mostly concentrated. Some are in the streets as a survival cause to help themselves and their siblings. We are saddened by this fact, however, the Ministry can only help them when we have proper record of about them,” said Ilukena.
Ilukena called on everyone particularly the parents and guardians of children who do not go to school to register them at the nearest regional education offices starting this Monday to Friday.
He added that the education for all week is a global event celebrated by many countries around the world with the aim of promoting the values of providing equal education opportunities to all children.
“The Ministry is requesting parents and guardians of street children to register their children at the nearest regional education offices during the week of the Education for All activities.
“The information gathered from this registration would guide the Ministry of Education on putting in place mechanism that will enable these children to be back in institutions of learning,” said Ilukena.
The main launch of the Education for All Week takes place at Eenhana in Ohangwena region and will be addressed by the Minister of Education Dr Abraham Iyambo.