The recent media report by the HIV and Aids Management Unit (HAMU), that Namibia loses 1000 teachers to the virus every year, is worrisome.
How is it that the educators who play the fundamental role in shaping the direction and destiny of all facets of our beloved country could, in fact, succumb to a state they know only too well about?
We are entering the end of the third decade in the fight against HIV/Aids where information campaigns are in full swing. One would expectt the intellects to lead the way in changing the public knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards the deadly pandemic. Statistically, teachers constitute the largest percentage of Government employees, with 60 000 on the payroll. We therefore cannot sit on our laurels and watch the nation’s future sink into oblivion.
Immediately after the report was released, the Ministry of Education (MoE) conveniently responded by advertising 2 500 vacant teaching positions. But the burning question now is, did the ministry have to wait this long or was it just a bureaucracy issue? Besides this, it seems like a stop-the-gap measure needs to be done.
Our intentions, in spirit and in principle, should be to ensure we do not compromise the future of this nation. Given the facts in the public domain, it is clear HAMU is doing all it can to remedy the situation but is held back by constrains. Someone should look at HIV/Aids as a big national scourge that needs big decisions to manage.
The problem is not only limited to the education sector because if we got figures from the private sector, I am sure the picture would not be pleasant. According to the World Economic Forum report, HIV/Aids remains a growing threat to business performance, hence the call for urgent action.
As a nation, we should not only be concerned about the state of affairs but we should take decisive action [in whatever form] to rescue the devastating impact of HIV/Aids.
As we celebrate Heroes’ Day, let us all pay homage to our fallen heroes and heroines who laid down their lives in pursuit of our cherished and progressive nation.
Until next time, happy reading! PF