Union creates database of unemployed teachers

Loide Shaanika

Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) secretary general Loide Shaanika says a database of unemployed teachers and their qualifications is being created to determine why they are not selected for positions.

The database will also capture where the qualified teachers studied and the regions they are from.

This comes as unemployed teachers increasingly demand that the government creates employment opportunities for them.

“We need this to see who is who, and find out what challenges they are faced with. Currently, we are challenged by teacher graduates … who claim not be invited to interviews.

“We are being facilitated by the education ministry to see how we can help prepare them for interviews by guiding them,” says Shaanika.

Between 2017 and 2023, approximately 8 000 qualified teachers were unemployed.

This number is expected to increase as approximately 3 000 teachers graduate each year countrywide.

This was revealed in a petition presented to education director Isak Hamatwi by a disgruntled group of teachers in November 2023.

Unemployed graduate Helena Abraham from the Ohangwena region says government intervention is urgently required.

“I attended an interview in August 2023 at a school in the region. On 28 February, I received a call and I was told am the best candidate and that I should assume duty on 1 March.

“However, while I was busy getting prepared to assume duty the following day, I received a call from human resources, saying I should no longer report myself at that school, because I am not qualified.

“When they processed my documents they didn’t check if I had English as a medium of instruction. This is very worrying.”

Another unemployed graduate from the Ohangwena region, Naemi Hailaula, alleges unfair recruitment in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

She noted her concerns in a letter to executive director of education, arts and culture Sanet Steenkamp on 27 November last year.

“I did English as a medium of instruction, and Oshikwamyama I did at Grade 12 level. The ministry has been recruiting people according to circular three of 2019, which states that applicants with English as a medium of instruction should be considered, based on their Grade 12 certificates, but suddenly the ministry changed the circular, as they are no longer considering those to be shortlisted for interviews and eventual employment,” Hailaula says.

“Now we are just sitting in our house with nothing to do,” she says.


Steenkamp held a five-hour meeting with the representatives of hundreds of unemployed teachers on Monday.

“People spoke from their hearts. We listened to them and they said they have learnt a lot from the ministry. And from the ministry’s side as well, we realised the need to go back and improve our communication with the customers and all our stakeholders,” she said.

Part of an established task force’s mandate would be to consider the issue of mass teacher recruitment.

“We can’t do this in the ministry, because there are teachers from every field. It would discriminate against others,” Steenkamp said.

The task force will comprise four individuals representing unemployed teachers, and four from the Directorate of eEducation.

A proposal was made to include a representative of the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation.

“There was a request that we stop teacher courses at universities. This is not within our mandate. The committee must come up with their terms of reference and we do need to be prescriptive. Then we need to interrogate issues such as the Affirmative Action Act,” said Steenkamp.

The task force will meet on 8 April to deliberate on the way forward, she said.

“The key resolutions are that we will go to the labour ministry with them so that they are listed and get registered on the national integrated information system,” Steenkamp said.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News