Education equity and quality in Namibia : a case study of mobile schools in the Kunene region
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AbstractThesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2012.
The main thesis of this study is that access to education, important as it is in terms of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is not enough. Education that is not of an acceptable quality may not serve the purpose or the intent of the MDGs, nor of the Education for All movement. The study aims to examine the Namibian education policies related to education equity and quality for nomadic pastoralist people living in the Kunene region where socio-economic and cultural factors mitigate the provision of education. The study takes a broad view in an effort to explore the phenomenon of education provision to nomadic people and its actual outcomes beyond the classroom perspective and beyond the limits of its expected results. The data were collected over a period of five weeks. In this regard, a qualitative research design with critically quasi-ethnographic elements using semi-structured interviews to gather data from participants was used. Purposive sampling was used to select mobile school units, educators, nomadic leaders and community members. Data were collected through document analysis, audio-taped interviews and transcribed for inductive analysis. The intent of this case study is to illuminate attempts, through various education policies and strategies used by the Namibian government, to address equity and quality in education to marginalised and nomadic pastoralist groups, and reflect the insufficiency of such efforts that are not compatible with the intended groups’ culture and lifestyle. In this study horizontal, vertical equity and equal opportunity were used as lenses in analysing the degree to which equity has been achieved in Namibia. It became evident that the policies developed in Namibia support the notion of horizontal equity, but do not differentiate on the distribution of resources to equalise and standardise the provisioning despite unequal social circumstances. It is argued that if equity and quality in education aimed at nomadic and pastoralist groups are to be achieved, policymakers have to be prepared to be more flexible in the kind of practices and organisational structures which they develop in order to provide education, especially for these marginalised groups. Mere expansion of formal education provision, based on a model of what works in urban situations, is not enough to ensure equity and quality education reaches all primary school age children, especially nomadic and pastoralist children. Added to this, education aimed at nomads and pastoralists should be flexible, multi-facetted and focused to target specific structural problems such as social and economic marginalisation, lack of political representation, and interacting successfully with the new challenges raised by globalisation. The research findings contribute to the debate and discussion concerning equity and quality in education aimed at nomadic and pastoralists in the larger context of education systems in developing nations with circumstances similar to those in Namibia.
Education Management and Policy Studies
Hailombe, O 2011, Education equity and quality in Namibia : a case study of mobile schools in the Kunene region, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/24256 >