By Victor Angula |

The Executive Director of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Ms Sanet Steenkamp says that no learner should be excluded, stigmatised or discriminated against for his or her parent’s failure to contribute to the school’s financial resources during the academic year starting on 10 January 2022.

However the introduction of the Primary and Secondary Education Grants did not take away the moral obligation and responsibilities of parents and guardians towards their children that are attending school.

Ms Steenkamp said this in a circular sent on 4 January 2022 to various stakeholders in the Ministry who include the minister, regional education directors, inspectors of education, school principals, teacher unions and school board members.

While the head of state President Hage Geingob has declared 2022 as the “year of reimaging”, Steenkamp says the ministry has decided on the year’s theme as “Reimaging Education 2022: Education recovery with renewed enthusiasm and dedicated efforts”.

Among other things, the circular states that guidelines for stationery per subject per grade of which parents are expected to contribute to should “only be used as a guideline and a starting point of dialogue between schools and parents.”

“Parents/guardians are still at liberty to contribute, albeit voluntarily, towards the upkeep, maintenance and improvement of the schools of their children,” Steenkamp states. “No progress reports of learners should be withheld due to non-payment of parental voluntary contribution.”

On hostel operations, she says that “the Grade 11 cohort of 2021 who return to hostels as of 7th January 2022 to write examinations until the 21st January 2022, will not pay hostel fees and fund for these days.”

In the photo: Education Executive Director Ms Sanet Steenkamp.