Friday 16 April 2021
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Education ministry, Nantu impasse continues


The education ministry is pulling all stops to ensure that the looming teachers strike does not hamper the Grade 10 and 12 final year examinations. The Ministry is in the process of preparing itself should the strike take place after engaging the Ministry of Higher Education Training and Innovation to avail vocational training instructors to invigilate during the examinations should teachers go on strike. “The education of the Namibian child is at stake and the Ministry would like to safeguard the 2016 Grade 10 and 12 examinations to ensure minimum disruptions. The sensitivity and centrality of these examinations to learners’ academic progression and overall preparation for future life, dictates that we do all we can to minimize possible distractions. Hence I am requesting that VTCs’ campus managers and instructors should stand ready, if approached, to render invigilation services at schools in the regions, towns and villages where they operate”  Higher education minister Kandji-Murangi said in a letter copied to her Education, Arts and Culture counterpart, Katrina Hanse Himarwa this week. Even the upcoming World Teachers Day celebrations planned for this year were abandoned as a result of the standoff between Government and NANTU.
Yesterday permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp said the Ministry will not host the World Teachers Day that was supposed to take place next Wednesday. Announcing the cancellation in a statement yesterday, Steenkamp said: “The Ministry of Education Arts and Culture (including the Regional Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture) in partnership with UNESCO and NANTU this year were underway with the organizing of the national commemoration of International World Teacher’s Day on the 5th of October 2016.” The PS further added that the event would however not go on as planned.
“In light of our joint collaboration towards the hosting of the event, you are hereby informed that the national World Teachers’ Day event initially envisaged to take place on 5 October 2016 in Windhoek will no longer take place, at the backdrop of new developments.” Read the statement. The Ministry however directed regional offices to go on with the celebrations noting that all that had changed was the initially planned celebration that was supposed to take place in Windhoek.  “The event will no longer be hosted with the momentum as initially envisaged.
The Regional offices are hereby requested to come up with low-level activities to commemorate the day including media platforms,” she said. Meanwhile, Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) has called on its members to keep on their feet awaiting final words from the Secretary General. Basilius Haingura, the NANTU Secretary General informed NANTU members that: “As we indicated to you, most of the rules were agreed upon on Friday the 23rd September 2016, but today on 28th September 2016 the government still wanted to refer the three areas that we could not agree namely; location, replacement of striking employees and notification to their Legal Practitioners for interpretations.”
Haingura further added that: “In the light of the above, we could not agree with their request, we referred the Conciliator to the Labour Act as well Code of Good Practices on Industrial Actions where we could not agree. The Conciliator is required to determine the rules in terms of the Labour Act.  Therefore, we are expecting the Conciliator to finalize the Strike Rules on Friday the 30th September2016 before 17h00.” “On that same day (the 30th September 2016) the Labour Rules will be signed off and the notification will be served to the employer as well as to the Labour Commissioner and Namibian Police,” he said. Haingura further called on NANTU members to prepare and be ready for action by mobilizing themselves.

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