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Classroom in Namibia

Education in Namibia is compulsory for 10 years between the ages of 6 and 16.[1] The Constitution directs the government to provide free primary education; however, families must pay fees for uniforms, books, hostels, and school improvements.[1] In 1997, the gross primary enrollment rate was 130.6 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 91.2 percent.[1] According to the Ministry of Labor’s child labor survey, 80 percent of working children between the ages of 6 and 18 continue to attend school while they are employed.[1]

Until Namibia's independence, the country's education system was designed to reinforce apartheid rather than provide the necessary human resource base to promote equitable social and economic development.[2] It was fragmented along racial and ethnic lines, with vast disparities in both the allocation of resources and the quality of education offered.[2] The new Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) set about to create one unified structure for education administration.[2] Currently, Namibia allocates more than 20% of its national budget to education.[2] This represents six to seven percent of Namibia's total GDP and is one of the three countries with the highest percentage of GDP directed toward education in the world.[2]

The investment is paying off.[2] A new, uniform and learner-centered curriculum for grades one through twelve, finalized in 1998, has received recognition beyond Namibia's borders and significant progress has been made in the use of English (which replaced Afrikaans as the nation's official language) as a medium of instruction.[2] About 95 percent of school age children attend school and the number of teachers has increased by almost 30 percent since 1990.[2] Over 3000 new classrooms have been built.[2] As a result of these improvements, repetition rates in all grades have been reduced.[2] Whereas in 1991, half the learners in grade 1 were repeating the grade, by 2003, over 84 percent of learners were earning their promotions on time.[2] Dropout rates have also plummeted.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Namibia". United States Department of Labor. http://www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2001/Namibia.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-04.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Namibia Africa: Strategic Objectives: Quality Primary Education". United States Agency for International Development. 2008-08-26. http://www.usaid.gov/na/so2.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-04.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

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