Students that will be enrolled at the Swapo Party School will be in line for a two-year political science diploma. Liberation movements from across Southern Africa have in recent adopted the trend of setting up party schools to inculcate the party’s history into the new generation in order to keep the party’s founding ideologies alive. In Namibia the situation is no different, in fact Swapo Party’s 2002 decision to have a party school that would provide political education was implemented recently. The school seeks to produce party members who are grounded in the party’s history and ideology. “The school seeks to produce cadres who are prepared and groomed to take up any leadership positions in the Party, community or government,” reads the School’s curriculum.
Party members who will be enrolled at the school will undergo a two-year part-time study comprising four stages which are modular based. After completion, successful candidates will receive a diploma in political science.
“Exemptions may be granted in some of the modules to those who may have gone through relevant academic training programmes. However, this will not apply to the core compulsory modules on the Swapo Party history, constitution and politics,” states the curriculum.
Any student with primary education can directly enroll to obtain a one-year political science certificate. The school also makes provision for students nominated by sister parties and other movements to be enrolled at the school. The school which is amongst other factors expected to tackle challenges like divisions, corruption and factionalism are rooted in a lack of political education and party members lacking knowledge when it comes to party ideology. As for Swapo, according to the curriculum of its Party School, the mission is to develop “Swapo cadres to become well-grounded in the Swapo Party history and ideology so that they will be able to acquire Swapo’s value system and present exemplary behavior and conduct.” The party feels that party members cannot completely understand the current political system of Swapo and Namibia’s history without understanding how and why the party adopted its political orientation.
“The curriculum aims to provide solid knowledge and skills in the ideological background of the Party and the history of the Namibian liberation struggle,” reads a part of the curriculum which also states that it will integrate history, geography, economics, politics and sociology. Although classes are yet to commence at the school, Marco Hausiku who serves as the rector indicated that the recruitment process of students will commence soon. The team will comprise of 47 members that will include board of directors, technicians, coordinators, regional selection board, drivers, heads of finance, training, research and development. During an interview with this newspaper last earlier this month, Hausiku said the training will target party members at the grassroots to ensure that they understand the party programme. Hausiku also feels the party school concept was supposed to be implemented years ago to train party members on the workings of Swapo.
“That is why you have so much confusion because we have not attended to basic training in terms, so it is obvious that you will have problems if you do not train your people,” he said. The former foreign affairs minister also shot down claims that qualifications from the party school will give party members an advantage when applying for jobs in government. “It[qualifications] will be important because you can go apply for a job, these are the most important qualifications that you may have in terms of accessing party offices. The qualification will also help you understand the social responsibility of every person in our country.” Hausiku said the curriculum includes teachings on the party’s constitution, code of conduct, the party’s background up to the armed struggle as well as the country’s economic system. He said the recruitment of lecturers and students will commence next week. “The training will target those at the grassroots to ensure that they understand the party programme.”