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Nghipondoka introduces new Basic Education Act

Education, Arts and Culture Minister, Anna Nghipondoka on Friday officially announced the commencement of the Basic Education Act, Act no:3 of 2020, which has been operating since 05 October 2023, in Namibian schools.

Nghipondoka in a media statement said the new Act replaces the Education Act 2001 (Act No. 16 of 2001), following nationwide consultations with the support of UNICEF to assess the evolving needs of the education system.

The key findings were that there is a need for an Education Act that focuses on inclusivity, equity and quality.

‘It addresses not only basic education but also adult education and lifelong learning, reflecting the diverse needs of our society. It mandates the abolition of non-voluntary parental contributions and legal provisions for exemption from such contributions.’

She said that with the new Act, the age of compulsory attendance in school has shifted from 16 to 18 years and includes a section dedicated to ensuring that learners with special educational needs and difficul
ties are accommodated within the basic education system.

‘The act puts emphasis on the prevention and management of learner pregnancy, and a safe and healthy school environment, including school health services and outlining minimum standards for schools and hostels,’ she said.

Nghipondoka further said the new act now encompasses lifelong learning and adult education, parental responsibility towards learners, and learners’ participation in school governance. The act also emphasises issues of learner discipline, looking at the responsibility to motivate their children for education and their disposition for good behaviour and discipline.

‘By the year 2030, Namibia will operate a totally integrated, unified, flexible, and high-quality education and training system that prepares Namibian learners to take advantage of a rapidly changing global environment in science and technology,’ the minister said.

Furthermore, the guideline principles of the act with regard to educational matters are, the best interest of
the child, the protection and promotion of the well-being of all children, education that is inclusive, learner-centred, focusing on the needs of the learner, who is encouraged to express his or her own views in matters that concern or affects them- nothing for them without them, among others, she noted.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency