Primary School Years
between the ages of 6 and 11 go beyond basic development to the journey of
acquiring the skills and emotional confidence they need to operate within
society. Education becomes a major part of their experience, character, and
confidence building. While almost all children are enrolled in primary school,
attendance rates by Grade 5 are almost down to 90%. This means that more needs
to be done to meet the constitutional requirement that all children receive and
complete at least 5 years of schooling. Numbers of children at school begin to
fall more quickly in Grades 6 and 7 so that slightly less than 8 out of 10
children move on to secondary school.
quality of education in Namibia remains a concern for Government. Southern
African regional studies suggest that Namibian children’s reading and maths
standards are some of the lowest in the region. In response, the Ministry of
Education is making major efforts to increase the quality of primary school
are places where vulnerable children can be supported. Attendance of orphans is
higher than non orphans. School feeding programmes cover just under half of
those who are vulnerable. However, there are reports that primary schools do
not always present as ‘units of social support’ providing ‘pastoral care and
guidance’. The degree to which schools properly support disabled children is
also in question.
concerns about the degree to which children do not always find their home to be
their main place of safety arise. One quarter of children of children who have
had sex before 12 reported having been forced to do so.
and being beaten are also important issues; inappropriate levels of punishment
can have effects that last into adulthood. The same tension as to what is
acceptable exists in relation to child labour. Two thirds of children are recorded
as working in northern rural regions to the point where some are kept out of
school and most felt that it affects their lives.