All roads will lead to the Swapo Party School for ruling party members tomorrow where Founding Swapo Party president Sam Nujoma is expected to deliver a lecture on the role of party schools in countries with multi-party democracies. The lecture comes a few months after Swapo launched its party school in Windhoek. The idea to form a party school was first discussed during Nujoma’s time as party president. 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.
Party school for elites?
Swapo Party Secretary for Information and Mobilisation, Helmut Angula says allegations have been made that the Swapo Party School launched in June will only be accessible by elite party members. He said the assertions are however untrue. Angula was speaking to Nampa on the sideline of a ruling party strategic workshop for leadership in Rundu on Monday. “Party mobilisers, section secretaries and branch secretaries, many of whom did not have an opportunity to education, are the ones saying it seems as if they are just there to mobilise when already they are not elected to positions within the legislature because of their limited education – now they can also not access the party school,” he said. He explained that the party school is not there to exclude anyone, but is open to all Swapo card-carrying members.
The Swapo Party School seeks to produce cadres who are prepared and groomed to take up any leadership positions in the party, community or government. 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.
Any student with primary education can directly enrol to obtain a political science certificate over the course of one-year. According to the school’s curriculum, exemptions may be granted in some of the modules to those who may have gone through relevant academic training programmes elsewhere. The workshop on Monday was aimed at discussing the significance of the party wings and affiliates, and the role they play in community mobilisation. The one-day workshop also focused on how the party manages generational challenges, experiences of transition and adequately prepares the younger generation to assume leadership. The same workshop, which was held in the Zambezi Region on Tuesday was already conducted in Khomas, Kunene, Oshana, Kavango West and Omusati regions.
Additional reporting by Nampa