National and Regional Consultations on Transforming Education in Namibia
Namibia under the stewardship of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), in collaboration with the UN in Namibia undertook a nationwide consultative process to obtain inputs for strategies on how to transform the education sector in the country to contribute to the attainment of SGD 4. Inputs gathered from the national consultations will be interrogated further at the envisaged 2022 National Conference on Education from 2-5 August 2022, in Windhoek, and the Global Transforming Education Summit on 19 September 2022, New York (UN Headquarters).
Following the UN Secretary General’s call to transform global education under five thematic tracks, Namibia took up global leadership to co-lead the thematic track one with the government of Italy. Locally, the consultative process started with a briefing meeting to the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation on 14 April 2022, followed by consultative meetings with various stakeholders. Following these meetings, technical teams travelled to all 14 regions of Namibia from 31 May to 13 June to engage, document recommendations and commitments to enhance access to quality education for all children.
The Namibian government demonstrated leadership and ownership of the process through the full participation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture and the Deputy Minister and senior Ministry officials in all consultations. In addition, various UN Country Representatives and Heads of Agencies with their technical teams joined the consultations and provided technical guidance.
The regional consultations were attended by nearly 2,476 stakeholders including government, school board members, regional government officers, school principals and staff, parents, traditional and community leaders and religious leaders, municipal and village council members, civil society and private sector representatives, representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities and UN agencies. Of these, 307 were learners and youth. In parallel two other processes were used to garner inputs. Stakeholders who could not attend the face-to-face consultations were invited to participate via social media, which resulted in 120,000 followers on Facebook and 6,613 via Twitter, signifying the value of broad stakeholders’ consultation for shared responsibility in Transforming Education.
Closing off the consultations, a validation meeting was organized to consolidate and validate the outcomes and findings from all regions from 13 - 15 June 2022, in Swakopmund. The Minister, senior officials of the Ministry, UN agencies in Namibia, key stakeholders and role players, committed to four broad-based systemic outcomes. These are:
• Resourcing Quality Education
• Regional (Sub-national) Office Transformation
• Teacher Training Transformation
• National Literacy and Numeracy Campaign
These respond to many of the concerns raised in the regional consultation processes while creating conditions for real change and transformation across the national education system.
The Minister, as the National Convener, and her team, are expected to present Namibia’s position paper and commitment statement at the Transforming Education Pre- Summit on 28-30 June 2022, in Paris.