The admission clause contained in Swapo Party School’s Admission Policy and Nomination guidelines which says only party members having more than 10 years uninterrupted Swapo membership are eligible for admission may effectively prevent a huge chunk of the party’s youth from being enrolled at the school.
Swapo Party Youth League insiders who spoke to The Patriot this week said the clause places the youth in an ‘awkward’ position within the party circles, and partly alleged that the clause is a slap in the face of the party’s promise to groom the young party cadres to take over the party one day.
The policy clearly states that: “Cadres would qualify for consideration for admissions and enrolment at SPS on the grounds of having over 10 years uninterrupted Swapo Party membership, being in good standing with the party, having no criminal record and must show an acceptable level of English proficiency.”
The policy further states that for any ‘cadre’ to become subject of consideration for selection and enrolment into the SPS have to be nominated by either the party’s cental committee, the party’s head office, a regional executive committee, a party wing or affiliate, Parliament or sister parties. “The selections of recommended cadres for consideration of admissions and enrolment at the SPS is a matter reserved for the board,” the policy states. The school’s rector Marco Hausiku however explained that young party members who are nominated by the relevant structures will be enrolled if nominated regardless of the clause.
“The main recommendation is that of the nomination, if somebody is nominated we will consider them regardless of the clause. That should not be in the way of enrolment,” said Hausiku during a telephonic interview on Wednesday. According to the policy, members at the school that have been selected for enrolment shall be expected to pay a minimum registration fee that will be determined by the board. “It is not expected that further fees will be charged on SPS students after payment,” the policy indicates. Swapo started the school to educate and train its members as well as to prepare and groom “present and future leaders within the community, party and government.”
Party documents indicate that the school is also responsible to inculcate in students a sense of belonging to their community and country and to cultivate attitudes that reinforce social cohesion, contribute to economic emancipation and improve the living conditions of people. 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.
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 despite the school being launched in June, Hausiku said the recruitment process is underway and that party members will soon visit the regions to explain the school’s concept to those at the grassroots.