Minister clarifies uniform issue

By Marx Itamalo

EDUCATION minister Anna Nghipondoka has cautioned schools not to send students home simply because they do not have school uniforms.

Nghipondoka believes children should not be denied education simply because their parents cannot afford school uniforms.

She said this during an interview with a northern community radio station. “No learner should be turned away from school because they cannot afford to buy a school uniform, according to the constitution of the Republic of Namibia and the Education Act. It is completely against the constitution and the education act,” she told Ondangwa-based Shipi FM.

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According to the minister, her office received information that numerous state schools are turning away learners who do not wear uniforms.

She emphasised that this deprives learners of the opportunity to be educated and violates their rights to free education, as protected by the country’s supreme law.

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The minister stated that students come from various backgrounds and that some cannot afford to purchase uniforms for their children.  She highlighted that such learners should not face discrimination. Nghipondoka, however, stated that this does not mean that schools should stop requiring students to wear uniforms.