Teachers appreciated, celebrated

The theme for this year’s celebrations focused on the role of teachers in the recovery of education post Covid-19.

06 October 2021 | Education

Ester Nghipondoka; Minister; “Education should become more about job creation.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]



Walvis Bay celebrated World Teachers Day with ‘Teacher’s role in education recovery post Covid-19’ as theme.

Erongo governor Neville Andre saluted teachers for their immense contribution to the country, saying Namibians should do more to show their appreciation. “Our teachers deserve extra support through both monetary and non-monetary measures for their tenacity, expertise and staying power.”

Andre also applauded teachers from the region that, despite challenges such as online learning, managed to produce some of the top performing schools in the country for grade 12 in 2020.

Covid-19

In Erongo, 209 teachers were infected with Covid-19, 200 recovered and nine teachers succumbed to the virus. Fifty-five support staff were infected, 52 recovered and three sadly lost their lives.
So far no learner has succumbed to the virus in the region.

Acting president of the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) Daniel Humbu said that teachers are needed now more than ever.

“The educational disruptions and school closures caused by the pandemic confirmed the crucial role of teachers in maintaining learning continuity and sustaining the very dynamics of households, families and communities. We have witnessed how teachers have been at the heart of educational responses, ensuring that all learners are reached.”

Humbu highlighted some of the challenges faced by teachers, while emphasising that poor working conditions and the unilateral removal of incentives for qualified teachers in the remote areas, does not sit well with the union.

“We call upon government to speed up the process of negotiating when it comes to low salaries, by considering teachers’ demands.”

Humbu also called for support from the minister of education.

“As a teacher by profession, she will understand the difficulties teachers endure on a daily basis. We also call on our members and teachers to remain calm, as NANTU is hard at work to improve working conditions of its members and teachers in general.”

He also reprimanded teachers, saying: “There are reported incidents of unprofessional conduct. Some teachers are tainting the name of the profession by engaging in unbecoming behaviour such as improper relationships with learners, gender-based violence including murder, alcohol and drug abuse as well as absenteeism. Teachers need to stay away from these evils. I urge you to conduct yourselves in an exemplary manner.”

Education minister Ester Nghipondoka noted that it is imperative that the psychological discomfort experienced by teachers in the past few months be dealt with.
More than 100 teachers lost their lives due to the pandemic.

“Self-care and special psychological care for teachers has intensified,” she said, adding that research found that teachers have accumulated a high level of stress, which is often accompanied by anxiety, depression and a deep disturbance as a consequence of an increased workload due to the change in adapting to the blended mode of learning,

According to Nghipondoka, the ministry is aware that since the start of the pandemic, many teachers on various platforms, reported and made reference to having an increased workloads and suffer from exhaustion, burnout, fear of death and infections, the loss of loved ones, along with increased home and care responsibilities.

She also urged teachers to ensure that lessons are able to unlock the minds of the learners.

“There is a growing need to look beyond structured curriculum and bring the world of work into the picture of through consultation between educators and employers in the fields that are in line with subjects in order to make the subjects relevant to the current world of work. Classes need to adopt the current issues and lessons should not limit the potential of learners but bring about desired results. Education should become more about job creation.”

At the occasion, Lionga Stanely from Simataa Secondary School in the Zambezi region received the 2020 African Union Best Teacher Prize of U$10 000.