Namibia, 15 November 2013: Namibia Education Transition Fund launched to improve quality education
15 November 2013, Windhoek - The Ministry of Education (MOE), in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), today launched the Namibia Education Transition Fund (NETF), a funding mechanism to strengthen support from Development Partners towards MOE’s efforts to reduce inequalities and disparity in the sector and provide quality education.
Over the next four years, US$ 10-12 million (N$100 – 120million) is required to support the expedient transition of the education sector to a status befitting an upper middle income country status through the following broad thematic areas:
“This initiative is very timely because it comes at the time when the Ministry of Education is in the midst of implementing Government decision to abolish “school Development Fund” in order to fulfill the right to free and compulsory primary education to all eligible children as guaranteed by Namibia’s constitution.” said Dr David Namwandi, the Minister of Education.
Government commitment to education has been evident through annual budget allocation of over 22% and policies which have supported a near universal access to primary education. However, inequitable allocation of resources has caused disproportionate harm especially on economically disadvantaged children who do not fully benefit from the educational services being provided.
According to the 2011 census, 13% of children aged 7-13 years are not enrolled in school, while the Namibia Household Income Expenditure Survey (2009/2010) also indicates that 9% of children aged 6-16 years have never been to school. Other challenges present in the education sector include low access to early childhood development and pre-primary education; high repetition and dropout rates, and low sanitation coverage.
“With just two years before 2015, we in the development sector need to appreciate the fact that there are still many challenges that may hamper our efforts in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.” Said the EU Ambassador to Namibia, Mr. Raul Fuentes. “A post-2015 era demands from us to come up with a workable and responsive framework (such as the Namibia Education Transition Fund) with a clear vision and resources to enable a life of dignity for all.”
Through the NETF, development partners will be encouraged to pool resources to complement their direct budget support and Government injection towards the tackling of these bottlenecks hampering delivery of quality education, particularly for the most vulnerable and children from low socio-economic background.
“Namibia, still needs partners to enable her overcome the remaining development challenges,” said UNICEF Representative, Micaela Marques De Sousa. “With Government’s leadership, strong partnerships and such innovative programmes, I am confident that Namibia will be able to reinvigorate and accelerate quality education and improve learning outcomes.”
The NETF will be coordinated through the leadership of the Ministry of Education in planning and budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation while UNICEF will manage the co-ordination of the fund.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
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