Post-budget discussions tackle education, unemployment

Digitisation key to cutting education costs
Following the tabling of the national budget, parliamentarians have debated issues related to youth unemployment and education. 
Jeanette Diergaardt
The unemployment crisis in Namibia should be resolved with assistance from the private sector, urban and rural development deputy minister Natalia /Goagoses argued recently.
The deputy minister made these remarks during her budget statement for 2023.
"Government is really doing their best to address the unemployment rate through different programmes," she said.
/Goagoses added that the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) will receive N$49.7 million to support the implementation of the SME financing strategy and to finance youth entrepreneurship activities.
According to /Goagoses however, DBN is not accomplishing what it was mandated to do.
She asked: "Did the ministry receive feedback on the previous budget allocation utilisation to determine re-injection to the same vote," referring to the DBN.
"The actual education outcomes and return on these investments over time are not at all commensurate with our expectations," she declared.

Lack of innovation
Landless People's Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb, in his response to the budget, said the youth are the most exploited in society and called the government out on a charcoal project run by the National Youth Service.
"By solely directing the National Youth Service to specialise in charcoal productions only, it is a bad move and shows a lack of innovation and the low level regard you have for our youth," Seibeb said.
The pilot project for charcoal production was launched in 2020, with 55 youth participating in the project.
According to news agency Nampa, the project was supposed to create jobs for 300 youth.
Seibeb called on government to enact the SADC youth protocol and to initiate the youth unemployment bill.
"I fail to understand why they cannot come up with tangible strategies to alleviate youth unemployment," Seibeb said.

Education tweaks
Emma Theofelus, deputy minister of information and communication technology, called for the digitisation of classrooms to lower textbook costs.
"We could reduce the textbook budget by almost half and possibly make do with the existing teaching component to teach learners without heavily depending on the presence of a teacher in a classroom," she said.
Furthermore, Mike Kavekotora, the secretary general of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, said the input for the ministry of education does not match its output. "The ministry of education has been running critical institutions with people in acting capacities to the detriment of service delivery," Kavekotora stated.