The Managing Director of High Economic Intelligence in Namibia believes vocational training could be part of the solution to improving the quality of education in the country.
Salomo Hei addressed a Nedbank economic breakfast panel discussion held at Swakopmund on Wednesday.
Hei says Namibia has worked hard to improve access to basic education, but there is still significant work to be done.
He says it is imperative that the government ensure that education is adequately resourced.
Hei added that poverty and the high unemployment rate are exacerbated by career choices that are not aligned with or responsive to market demands.
He says there is a need to offer quality education, which will ensure innovation and digital skills in the education system to prepare the youth for future opportunities.
"We should open up the avenue towards vocational training at the grade 8 level. Then we could start absorbing learners who are stronger in more of the technical side and channel them toward vocational training, and then still maintain the schooling system for those that wish to continue with school because if you are able to develop skills at that level, you are creating a workforce that can be productive."
In an effort to improve education, Nedbank Namibia has donated more than N$250,000 to the Rössing Foundation's mobile laboratory, for science and mathematics.
"This commitment will enable the initiative to reach more rural schools, which are experiencing challenges such as limited access to educational facilities, particularly laboratories for science-based experiments," said Martha Murorua, the Managing Director of Nedbank.
This year, the bank targets reaching 8,000 learners and 300 teachers at rural schools nationwide to establish mobile laboratories once more.
In order to raise funds for the creation of the laboratories, the bank will hold the Good Golf Series in Swakopmund, Henties Bay, and Walvis Bay in August and September of this year.