Mbapikama is one of the 4,208 unqualified and underqualified teachers teaching at junior primary school level employed by the country’s education ministry to meet its teachers demand.
Faced with an acute shortage of qualified teachers at junior primary level, the ministry, in partnership with the University of Namibia, is implementing the In-Service Teacher Education Diploma in Junior Primary Education to train unqualified and underqualified teachers to upgrade their qualifications, and subsequently improve learning input from early grades.
“I have been serving as an unqualified teacher for nearly three years. I am delighted to be enrolled into this in-service training program as it will give me the chance of being a qualified teacher,” he said.
Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said Wednesday in an interview on the World Teachers’ Day that the training program comes at the right time, given that the shortage of qualified teachers, especially at the foundation level of the education system, is seen as one of the factors preventing Namibian learners from achieving the expected levels of numeracy and literacy in the early years of schooling.
“The drive to improve the quality of teaching and learning through improved teacher competencies has been our key focus since I took office. Our expectations are that the teacher education program should empower our practicing teachers to be able to teach our learners skills, values and attitudes,” she said.
“This program is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, which requires by 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training and in developing countries,” added the minister. Enditem