Namibia, under the leadership of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), in collaboration with the UN in Namibia, undertook a nationwide consultation process to seek input on strategies transformation of the education sector in the country in order to contribute to the achievement of SGD 4. August 2022, in Windhoek, and the Global Education Transformation Summit, on September 19, 2022, in New York (UN Headquarters).
Following the UN Secretary-General’s call to transform global education into five thematic strands, Namibia took global leadership to co-lead the first thematic strand with Italy. At the local level, the consultation process started with an information meeting at the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation on April 14, 2022, followed by consultative meetings with various stakeholders. Following these meetings, technical teams traveled to all 14 regions of Namibia from May 31 to June 13 to engage, document recommendations and commitments to improve access to quality education for all the children.
The Namibian government has shown leadership and ownership of the process through the full participation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, the Deputy Minister and senior Ministry officials in all consultations. In addition, various United Nations country representatives and heads of agencies with their technical teams joined the consultations and provided technical advice.
The regional consultations brought together nearly 2,476 stakeholders, including government, school board members, regional government officials, school principals and staff, parents, traditional and community leaders and religious leaders, members of town and village councils, representatives of civil society and the private sector, representatives of disabled people’s organizations and United Nations agencies. Of these, 307 were learners and young people. In parallel, two other processes were used to collect the inputs. Stakeholders who were unable to attend the face-to-face consultations were invited to participate via social media, resulting in 120,000 followers on Facebook and 6,613 via Twitter, signifying the value of a wide stakeholder consultation for shared responsibility in Transforming Education.
Closing the consultations, a validation meeting was organized to consolidate and validate the results and conclusions of all regions from June 13 to 15, 2022, in Swakopmund. The Minister, Senior Ministry Officials, UN Agencies in Namibia, Key Stakeholders and Actors, have committed to four broad-based systemic outcomes. These are:
- Resourcing quality education
- Transformation of regional (sub-national) offices
- Transformation of teacher education
- National Literacy and Numeracy Campaign
These address many of the concerns raised in the regional consultation processes while creating the conditions for real change and transformation across the national education system.
The Minister, as national lead, and her team are expected to present Namibia’s position paper and statement of commitment at the Transforming Education pre-summit from 28-30 June 2022 in Paris.