Improving girls education in Namibia

Community mobilization for Shinyungwe Community

20 October 2015

The workshop was as a result of former Deputy Minister of Education and FAWENA former Chairperson, Honourable Silvia Makgone who visited schools around the country, of which Shinyungwe Combined School was one of them. She collected the following 2014 statistics from the school: the school had high failure rate of 73% for grade 10 and pregnancy rate of 30%. The schools pass rate was recorded as the lowest in the region. FAWENA was further notified that the contributing factors were lack of parental involvement in their children’s education, different household chores, teenage pregnancy, lack of interest in school as a result of lack of motivation, child headed household and poverty. The workshop targeted all stakeholders such as the learners, teachers, school board members, the traditional and community leaders, and the community at large.

The community mobilization workshop took place from the 31st July-1st August 2015 at Shinyungwe Combined School. The workshop was made possible by Nampower Foundation to a tone of N$ 100,000.00.

A total of 267 community members, teachers and school board members, traditional leaders, community leaders, church leaders and members of learner’s representative council attended the workshop. Teachers and principals from the following schools’ also participated in the workshop: Shamangorwa Combined School, Mayara Combined School, Linus Shashipapo Secondary School, Kangongo Combined School, Korokoko Combined School and Livayi Combined School.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • To provide training to parents and community members to sensitize them on the importance of education and to encourage parents and guardians to support the education of their children.
  • To empower the learners, educators and the community to effectively address the academic and retention problem at the school.
  • To identify and analyze challenges and how they hinder their academic and social  development
  • To develop an action plan to address challenges that hinder the academic and social development

In conclusion

Parental involvement in school is defined as parent reported participation at least once during the school year in attending a general school meeting; attending a scheduled meeting with their child’s teacher; attending a school event; or volunteering in the school or serving on a school committee. It is very important for our children’s education, therefore let’s try and incorporate it.

The participants were asked to move back into the groups to develop the action plan on how to solve the identified challenges/problems.

In summary, the participants stated that a hostel needed to be built within 2015-2016 time frame. Parents also requested that they get assistance from the Ministry of Home Affairs to obtain documents e.g. National identity card and birth certificates, which will help the parents enroll their children at schools. The participants also asked that they be assisted with school fees and school uniforms for their children. They then asked for assistance from the police begin making patrols around the community in order to close open shebeens operating late hours. The participants also stated that the rate of teenage pregnancies was very high and would like assistance from hospitals to provide mobile health services. The parents were urged to take up their education responsibilities of their children’s education at school and as well as home.