WINDHOEK: The Minister of Education (MoE) is introducing a uniform system to regulate the naming and renaming, as well as patrons of schools to avoid conflict amongst school communities.
The system will also regulate donations given to schools.
Speaking at a media conference in the capital on Wednesday, Education Minister Abraham Iyambo explained that his ministry has detected that schools do not follow a uniform system in the renaming of schools.
This has resulted in conflict being caused in cases where consultations on the renaming do not include the entire school community, especially the parents of learners enrolled at the school.
“Ultimately, all State schools are Government property and the responsibility of the Government of the Republic of Namibia. Naming and renaming of State schools is the responsibility of Government through the Ministry of Education, since school facilities are established with public resources,” he stressed.
Iyambo noted that the ministry has therefore designed a uniform system to regulate this practice, adding that it will inter alia require that at least 60 per cent of the school community and parents sanction decisions regarding the naming and renaming of schools.
Once the system is in place, school Board will have to apply to the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, who will in turn seek the concurrence of the Minister of Education.
“A general meeting of the entire parent community of learners of the school must discuss the proposed name change which must be endorsed by not less than 60 per cent of parents,” the minister stated.
After endorsement by the majority of parents in a parent meeting, the proposal should then be ratified by the school Board, and if satisfied, the Board will submit the proposed name change with all supporting documents to the respective regional council through the directorate of education in the region, for endorsement and recommendation.
Iyambo said if endorsed by the Office of the Director of Education and the Chief Regional Officer (CRO) or a delegated person, such a recommendation should then be forwarded to the Office of the PS for consideration and approval.
Speaking about the choice and nomination of patrons for schools, the Education Minister stressed that a patron should also be nominated and endorsed by not less than 60 per cent of the parent community or guardians at a general meeting of the entire parent community.
He added that the nomination should be ratified by the school Board with a comprehensive profile of the proposed individual to accompany the submission.
“The recommendation of the school Board is then submitted to the CRO and directorate of education in the region for endorsement,” Iymbo noted.
If agreed, the CRO shall present the name and profile of the patron to the Permanent Secretary (PS) and ultimately, the Minister of Education for endorsement.
The minister should then be satisfied that the community was fully consulted, he said, adding that clear terms of reference spelling out the role and functions of the patron will be provided by the Ministry of Education.
Donations to schools will henceforth also be handled differently. Iyambo said donations should be made to either the State or to a school’s development fund.
He said in compliance with Section 19 (1) of the State of Finance Act, Act 31 of 1991, read with Section 37 of the said Act, the Minister of Finance will delegate Section 19 (1) to the Ministry of Education’s PS to approve the donations.
Section 19 (1) states that no gifts to the State shall be accepted without the authorisation of the Treasury.
The PS will furnish the Treasury with information regarding the donation not later than 30 days in the format of Treasury Instruction.