As announced by Minister of Education Dr. Abraham Iyambo, Namibian schools will now provide free education at the primary level. Education is compulsory at primary and secondary levels in Namibia, but previously parents have been expected to pay school fees for their children. Parents could avoid paying the fees by writing to the school and asking for an exemption, but it was still a large economic burden for some.
The new education system will cost the Education Ministry N$50 million this year, but it’s expected to pay off and create more productive citizens when the current students reach adulthood. The plan also has the added benefit of keeping poor and vulnerable children off the streets and instead in classrooms.
The huge change will result in education taking a large part of the government’s budget: roughly 23.6% of total government spending next year will be on education. For the next three years, the trend will most likely continue, with education ultimately gaining N$28 billion in funding.
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