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Unemployed teachers from the two Kavango regions are accusing the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture of poor leadership and a lack of forward planning.

The unemployed teachers say the ministry is hampering the provision of quality education in the country.

Dressed in their graduation gowns, the group of unemployed teachers decided to voice their dissatisfaction with how the ministry of education is dealing with their plight.

"High teacher unemployment is caused by poor leadership that hampers the provision of quality education. We have over 2000 children under the age of 16 without spaces in schools. 90% of them are from poor, vulnerable, and marginalised backgrounds, yet we have 80% of understaffed schools in the two Kavango regions, with teachers teaching 70 to 90 learners in one class and giving 7 to 8 lessons in a single working day, while 3,410 unemployed teachers in the two regions are in the streets," says the chairperson of the Unemployed Teachers Committee, David Nekaro.

Some of the teachers who have been unemployed for close to 5 years say the situation is now taking a toll on their lives.

Acting Executive Director in the Ministry of Education, Knox Otto Imbuwa, says the challenge of unemployment is a nationwide predicament that is not specific to teachers.

He also says some of the claims being made by the unemployed teachers are not true.

"It is alleged in the press statement that there are "over 2000 children under the age of 16 without spaces in schools" and that "70%–80% of schools across the country are understaffed. The Ministry would like to refute these claims as false, incorrect, and untrue and further state that the Ministry is unaware of learners who could not be placed in a government school for the 2023 academic year due to a lack of space. If there are such children, the parents and/or guardians of such children are advised to immediately approach our offices in the various regions to seek assistance."

The ministry is, however, aware of five unregistered community schools in Kavango East with a total of 654 learners.

"The ministry has attended to this matter by advising and referring the parents and their learners to nearby government schools for their registration and absorption. For this very same reason, we have allocated funding for the emergency construction of 14 classrooms at Ndama South."

The Ministry admits that Kavango East has 45 schools with 40 to 80 learners in a class.

The ministry believes that a majority of teaching students are graduating in fields of specialisation that are already saturated, creating an oversupply of teachers in certain fields of study.

"While we sympathise with those who are yet to secure employment in the teaching service, the Ministry regrettably cannot be obliged to recruit the unemployed teacher graduates beyond the capacity of its financial means and physical infrastructure."

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Photo Credits
Eagle FM

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Author
Frances Shaahama