Recruiting & Retaining of Qualified Teachers in Rural Namibia

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Chapter 2

Literature Review

This section reviews the literature concerned with the study in question and the views of other writers.

It is clear from the background of the problem that the rural areas in Namibia are made up of tradition and “urban fringe” areas, scattered and sparely populated, has high levels of dependency, low income and long and persistent of emigration as well as a portion of elderly people. Some of these are also areas of perceived remoteness in other parts of the country. The implications of these constrains are very strong in affecting, health, social services and mainly education needs of the population and influencing the way in which they must be responded.

The literature explores the research relevant to rural teacher employment compensations and suggests policy directions that can help guarantee that all teachers are equally equipped in the country’s quest for qualified and/or skilled teachers.

Skill shortages* in Namibia are having an impact not only on the labour market but also on the economy of the country as a whole. Despite the ongoing improvements and developments in the country, the problems of putting unemployed people into work remain and there is still a shortage of skilled labour in many sectors of the economy. The recruitment of skilled staff has become a major issue in the Namibian public sector. The government is investing record amounts of money in the health services, in Education, in the police and in Local Governments. This investment, however, is being inhibited by the inability of public sector institutions to recruit suitably qualified and experience staff in some areas of the country, particularly rural areas. There are a number of causes of this problem. The first is that the public service is not seen as attractive, particularly when the economy is floating. The second is that the demands in the public sector are not seen to be reflected in the rewards on offer. The third is the growing professional skills age, creating great competition for those with appropriate skills. The fourth is the cost of housing in certain parts of the country.

The social status of teachers refers to the relative standing of teaching as an occupation in a hierarchy of all occupations. As a status of an occupation is usually determined by the prestige, wealth and authority of the workers enjoy, a comparison of social status in deferent countries may reveal the significance attached to the teaching ant the amount of appreciation reserved for teachers in each society. (Biddle, 1995). Therefore, the social status of the teachers is an important areas of enquiry that provides insight into the significance attached to education in each country.

In Namibia, growing affluence and social diversity has been accompanied by the independence of March 21st 1990, which has made Namibia a truly democratic society. As a developing country, education is one of the greatest challenges and priorities the country has set on its top list in producing a highly trained workforce needed for economic development, and teacher education is placed as a cornerstone of education order to produce a strong group of quality learners, and scholars. Countries world-wide are plagued with problems of teachers shortages and difficulty in attracting academically able students into the teaching profession (Leavitt, 1992; Williamson and Morris, 2000), Namibia is not unique in a sense of not being able to fully attract the few of its qualified to the rural areas especially to the northern regions. This phenomenon might be attributed to the relatively, low social status not so well enjoyed by most these young qualified teachers in Namibia.

The Significance or Teaching

Teaching is the essential profession, the one that makes all other professions possible. Without well qualified, caring, and committed teachers, neither improved curriculum and assessments, nor safe schools, not even...
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