Authors

David Evans

Publication Date

June 1990

Abstract

Education in Namibia under the illegal colonial regime (was) characterized by inequality, segregation and other apartheid conditions...Schools for various population groups are segregated along racial and ethnic lines. Ethnicity is promoted at the cost of national unity by the provision of segregated schools, linguistic segregation, and curricula that attempt to promote the special status of whites. While education is compulsory for whites, there are not enough schools for Africans. The schools for Africans are staffed with unqualified or inadequately qualified teachers... Pupil to teacher ratios in the African schools are much higher than those in the white schools. Funds allocated for the education of the white pupils are many times higher... The education system in Namibia thus works against promoting national unity and the creation of an egalitarian society. The new education system in independent Namibia will need to correct these wrongs. An alternative education policy must therefore view the need for change as its central theme... Toward achieving this change the Liberation Movement has identified the following areas of action: 1) Urgent training of technical and professional cadres... ; 2) Provision for work-oriented, comprehensive education and training for illiterate and semi-literate adults; 3) Laying the foundation of a free and universal education for all Namibians from primary, through secondary to university level by training many teachers and educationists now; and 4) Developing the people's cultural creativeness. These areas of action emphasize that any meaningful development depends on the development of human resources through education ... (and) that education must embody the ethos of total liberation of man from the humiliations of the past, ignorance, superstition, and exploitation. (The) objectives outlined above cannot be viewed as day one conditions but should be considered long term guidelines because their implementation would require significant structural changes, enormous resources, and, above all, favorable attitudes ... implementation of these guidelines would therefore need to be synchronized with the overall national policies of independent Namibia. (UNIN, 1984, p. 20-23)

Comments

Workshop Paper #2 Report from a symposium sponsored by Oxfam America and the University of Massachusetts, Center for International Education

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