Children’s Parliament’s sixth session targets education challenges

WINDHOEK: The sixth session of the Children’s Parliament is set to convene from 12 to 19 July this year, with a primary focus on addressing educational issues affecting the Namibian child.

Established more than 17 years ago, the Children’s Parliament serves as a platform that enables youth participation in democratic processes and offers insight into legislative procedures and a forum to deliberate challenges they encounter.

The session aims to empower children to propose legislative changes that directly influence their well-being.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi in a recent media statement said the Children’s Parliament is a Namibian Parliament initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) based on the Namibian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and fundamental human rights.

He said over 60 learners from Namibia’s 14 regions are expected to gather at the National Assembly for the one-week session under the theme ‘Transforming Education i
n Namibia.’

‘This year’s session aims to address critical post-COVID-19 challenges in the education sector such as school dropouts and learner pregnancy. According to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture statistics, over 15 000 learners dropped out of school in 2021 alone, of which over 2 000 were as a result of learner pregnancy,’ he said.

‘The Children’s Parliament is a catalyst for change. It empowers our youth to engage in the democratic processes, shaping a future where every child’s voice is heard and their rights are upheld,’ he said.

He further noted that Namibia attaches great importance to the rights of children as it has enacted and ratified a myriad of both domestic and international conventions aimed at protecting the rights of children.

National Assembly spokesperson Sakeus Kadhikwa, on his part, said the session will not only focus on identifying challenges, but also on proposing actionable recommendations that can contribute to a transformative education system in Namibia.

The upco
ming session will see youth representatives converging to listen to expert presenters and further discuss pressing issues in education that include equitable access to education, gender/violence and education, disability and education, governance and education, and addressing the digital divide exacerbated by the pandemic, among others. This is in line with the ongoing education reform agenda in the Namibian education system.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency