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Teaching Profession

The changing needs of an independent Namibia require that all teachers be appropriately qualified. For several years the Swedish International Development Agency, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNESCO, and UNICEF have been working on pre-service teacher training programs. In 1993 the Basic Education Teacher Diploma (BETD) introduced a uniform three-year pre-service teacher education program for primary and junior secondary teachers. This program prepares teachers for basic education in grades 1 through 10. The concept of learner-centered education is emphasized and graduates have a broad competence to teach in grades 1 through 7, or grades 5 through 10 and, with a specialization in lower primary education or specific subject areas, in either the upper primary or junior primary phases.

A four-year program leads to the Senior Secondary Teachers' Certificate. The Technical and Vocational Education Instructor Certificate prepares teachers for instruction in pre-vocational skills and at vocational and technical institutions. In the period from 1993 to 1998, the number of teacher educators increased more than 20 percent. A number of teacher educators have gone through master's degree programs outside Namibia, and more than 30 percent have participated in postgraduate staff development courses organized by the Teacher Education Reform Project (TERP) administered by Sweden's Umeå University.

In-service training has become a priority in Namibia, to meet not only the country's need for better qualified teachers, but to enable teachers to respond creatively to the many new demands made on them. Through in-service training, teachers are helped to make the transition from rote learning techniques to learner-centered teaching methods, to participate in curriculum design initiatives, and to become nationally accredited. The In-Service Training and Assistance for Namibian Teachers project (INSTANT), supported by IBIS, a Danish donor, helps teachers improve subject mastery in the physical sciences and mathematics.

Apart from the National Institute for Education Development in Okahandja, four educational institutions serve student teachers in Namibia. The largest of these is the Ongwediva College of Education in northwestern Namibia, which accommodates about 900 student teachers and which offers the Basic Education Teacher Diploma. The other educational institutions are the Windhoek College of Education, the Rundu College of Education, and the Caprivi College of Education in Katima Mulilo.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceNamibia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education