The official opposition party, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has described Education Minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, as a shining beacon of incompetence after she failed to meet her targets.
The party said in a statement on Thursday that Hanse-Himarwa is worth more to President Hage Geingob as a political lieutenant than as Minister of Education.
PDM’s utterances come as it expresses its dissatisfaction with the 2017 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) and Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examination results.
The matric results are below 36.8 percent compared to a national target of 40 percent.
“Approximately 27,000 former Grade 10 learners and 13,399 former Grade 12 learners did not pass their exams, meaning that over 50,000 young Namibians have been failed by the public education system, and are likely to face very little prospect of a decent future. “Last year, the Ministry of Finance allocated N$11.97 billion to the Ministry of Education, which has delivered an increase in NSSC results of less than 3 percent. This is a deplorable return on investment, and one cannot help, but question not only the effectiveness and quality of the public education system as a whole, but more specifically the competence of the leadership at the highest level of the public education sector.
“The fact that the Ministry of Education could not reach its desperately low target of 40 percent admission to tertiary education bears testimony to the fact that the politically appointed leadership at the helm of the Education Ministry is hopelessly out of its depth,” PDM said in the statement.
A total of 13,399 former Grade 12 learners failed to gain access to tertiary institutions, according to this week’s results
PDM wants the SWAPO-led Government to explain what plans it has in place for the Matric failures. It also wants the education minister to resign.
“PDM finds the comments made by Education Minister, Hanse-Himarwa, at the release of the 2017 JSC and NSSC results to be shocking and of concern. In the first instance, to call on learners to work hard and pass reveals a shocking misunderstanding on her part of the factors that impact success and/or failure in education.
“Hanse-Himarwa is a shining beacon of incompetence. We do, however, agree with her assertion that ‘it is high time that we start moving away from this mediocrity, low performance, laziness and visionless approach’, and therefore call on Hanse-Himarwa to do the honourable thing and resign from her post as Minister of Education.
“It is baffling that despite the spectacular failings of the Education Ministry and the utter disarray and chaos that characterises the public education sector Mrs Hanse-Himarwa continues to enjoy the confidence of the President.
“The only conclusion to be drawn from this is that Mrs Hanse-Himarwa is worth more to Mr Hage Geingob as a political lieutenant than as Minister of Education. The PDM therefore believes that Geingob himself must be held to account for prioritising party politics above the education of the Namibian nation,” the party said.