4 NEWS Friday, August 18 2017 | NEW ERA WAD graduates told to be humble in their search for jobs Brighter future… Some of the graduates of the WAD skills development programme during Thursday’s ceremony in Keetmanshoop. Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop The WK Rover Hall at Keetmanshoop was brimming with smiles and joy as about 141 people received their certificates in various trades this week. They were all quickly reminded of the harsh reality awaiting them, with Women’s Action for Development (WAD) executive director Salatiel Shinedima telling the graduates that attaining a qualification is just the start of the long road ahead. He told the WAD graduates on Thursday that although earning their certificates of qualification could translate into a brighter future, they should be cautious and understand that this marks only the beginning of a journey towards finding employment. “I would like to advise you to humble yourselves at all times and do not aim for high-paying jobs before you acquire adequate on-the-job experience,” he said. Shinedima advised the graduates that their focus as they begin their search for job opportunities should be on getting the necessary experience to complement their certificates, rather than looking at the income they will make, saying remuneration should be secondary to acquiring experience. He explained that employers are looking for employees who are qualified and experienced, and thus graduates should be humble and take any jobs available to acquire the needed experience, even if they are not remunerated. He further reminded the graduates that they are not the only ones searching for jobs, as there are unemployed graduates who might have advanced qualifications and experience, but are competing for the same jobs. This, he said, is why being humble and smart is vital in their attempts to build their careers. The WAD leader also appealed to //Kharas Regional Council and the Keetmanshoop Municipality to take the lead to encourage the graduates to continue studying, as well as link them with prospective public and private institutions in the region, where they can do in-service training. Some graduates New Era spoke to say they have gained the much-needed skills in their respective areas of study and are ready to enter the job market and make use of their new skills, although some admitted that getting jobs might be tough. “I am happy to finally get my certificate. Now I can hopefully get a job and start taking care of my parents,” said Elizabeth Afrikaner. The graduates were trained in fields of computer science, office administration, hospitality, needlework, manicure and pedicure training, while a total of 86 community members and law enforcement officers also received certificates of competence in genderrelated laws. Our Star of the Week is Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi, who presides over the central bank and all its functions and duties. This week the bank announced a reduction of 25 basis points to bring the repo rate down to 6.75 percent. The decision on the rate cut was made by the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to support domestic economic growth, as the reduced repo rate should lead to increased spending resulting from an increase in the disposable incomes of indebted households. The MPC was mindful of the lower inflation rate realised and projected for the Namibian economy, the strong fiscal consolidation drive and the country’s improved international reserve position.
Friday, August 18 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 5 How schools are shaping minds and saving lives in East and Southern Africa Emma Mbekele Windhoek Just as schools are foundational to preparing young people academically, they are also a crucial source in ensuring a student’s health and well-being. UNFPA is supporting governments in scaling up comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in and out of schools across East and Southern Africa in response to young people’s vulnerability to coercion, unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. CSE enables young people to protect their health and well-being, including delaying the age of sexual debut, reducing the frequency of sex and number of sexual partners and increasing use of contraception, especially condoms. Taught over several years, CSE provides age-appropriate information consistent with the evolving capacities of young people. Equipping teachers to deliver sexuality education in the classroom Adequately trained and supported teachers are critical for quality CSE to be delivered, yet research has pointed to a crucial lack of supervision and support for teachers across East and Southern Africa. To address this gap, UN- FPA, in partnership with UNESCO, has supported ministries of education across the region to develop teacher train- Critical… Just as schools are foundational to preparing young people academically, they are also a crucial source in ensuring a student’s health and well-being. ing programmes and resources for pre- and in-service teachers to aid the delivery of sexuality education in the classroom. Since 2014, more than 44,800 teachers have been trained. Gaoseb Joors, a life skills teacher who received training from the programme, works in the community of Katutura, Windhoek where poverty, unintended pregnancy and HIV are a common reality for students. “As adults we always assume that our problems are bigger than those of children. Only until we have sat down with them and talked we come to learn the magnitude of their problems,” said Gaoseb. Gaoseb said although sexuality education might be awkward, it is very important as it prepares young people to make healthy choices. “Learners are exposed to sex even at the tender age of nine either through rape or play. There is also exposure through media, through television and through their peers.” Tsuses Constancia, who also received comprehensive sexuality education training, shared Gaoseb’s sentiments. “My work as a teacher is to help learners develop self-confidence and successfully deal with significant life challenges, such as peer pressure, bullying and discrimination.” Growing acceptance of comprehensive sexuality education The recent decline in HIV of more than 25 percent in high burden African countries has been attributed to young people adopting protective behaviour as well as investments in programmes for young people. This crucial role for comprehensive sexuality education has been recognized by numerous international and regional agreements, including the East and Southern Africa Commitment, endorsed by 21 ministers of health and education to deliver CSE and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young people. Through UNFPA’s Safeguard Young People Programme, more than 7 million young people have been exposed to sexual and reproductive health information and education in and out of school since 2014. Photos: Emma Mbekele Learners and teacher… Gaoseb Joors proudly stands with his students. Community conservancies urged to develop accountability Loide Jason Ongwediva Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta has urged community conservancies to develop accountability and good governance for development and operation. Shifeta said that developing accountability in conservancies is one of the most important aspects of conservancy development. He was speaking during a meeting of the Regional Conservancy Chairpersons Forum for the north and central regions at Ongwediva yesterday. The minister said community conservancies are expected to contribute benefits to their members through the utilisation of wildlife and tourism development in their areas. He said the ministry is concerned there is no equitable benefit to members in some conservancies. “We re now addressing the issue of good governance and compliance with constitutional and benefit distribution plans.” He said in order for a conservancy to serve the interests of local residents the conservancy committee needs to be accountable to residents. “Accountability means the committee cannot take whatever decisions it wants to. It must ensure its decisions have the support of the majority of residents,” he elaborated. He said if the committee consistently takes decisions that are not in the interest of residents, then members must be able to take appropriate action against the committee. Shifeta said that decisions taken by the committee must be open and transparent, the finances well managed, and there is no corruption and conflict of interest in decision-making and distribution of benefits. “Poor management of finances in some conservancies is a worrying concern and needs to be improved now,” he said. The minister said conservancies need to have mechanisms in place to reduce the level of human-wildlife conflict to ensure that benefits of conservation management far outweigh the costs and build on significant successes in managing human-wildlife conflict. “I call upon all of you to interrogate the current strategies of the Revised Human Wildlife Conflict Management Policy as will be presented, and play a part in the implementation of these strategies.” He said conservancies have a bigger role to play in the fight against poaching. “You are on the ground and can therefore see what is happening and possibly prevent that.”