Educational Strategies

Before independence
Before 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. It was fragmented along racial and ethnic lines, with vast disparities in both the allocation of resources and the quality of education offered

After independence
The new Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) set about to create one unified structure for education administration. Currently, Namibia allocates more than 20% of its national budget to education. 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. Educational institutions in Namibia and their portfolio are accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA). This institution evaluates and accredits national institutions and degrees, as well as foreign qualifications of people who wish to demonstrate the national equivalence of their degrees earned abroad.

Researchers from the United States Agency for International Development opine that the investment is paying off. 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. About 95 percent of school age children attend school and the number of teachers has increased by almost 30 percent since 1990. Over 3000 new classrooms have been built. As a result of these improvements, repetition rates in all grades have been reduced. 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. Dropout rates have also plummeted.

On the other hand, Namibia's former Minister of Education Abraham Iyambo summarily described the Namibian education system as "crippled", citing dropout rates, lack of teaching facilities, financial difficulties, sub-standard vocational training, and absence of pre-primary development. A National Conference on Education, running from 27 June to 1 July 2011, was conferred to address the most pressing issues.

The Namibian education system is experiencing many obstacles. It is faced with serious weaknesses in the provision of education to all. Additionally the quality of education, quality of teachers and the performance of learners is unsatisfactory. The Ministry of Education is drafting an improvement program that is known as the ETSIP (Education and Training Sector Improvement Program). The ETSIP aims to align the entire Namibian education system to Namibia's Vision 2030 and the needs of the Namibian population.

In all government schools, primary education is free since 2013, and secondary education since 2016. Tertiary educational institutions, both private and public, charge tuition fees. Corporal punishment is not allowed.