Physical Education back in schools

By Michael Uugwanga 

PHYSICAL education is to make a return to schools after the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, aimed at refocusing efforts on physical education and school sports. 
This was said by the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero in the National Assembly last month while motivating her Ministry’s 2020/2021 financial year budget speech amounting to N$306 860 000. 
For many years Namibia was known for producing talent through physical education at schools, however that identification of talent was scrapped after the directorate of sport merged with that of youth and national service. 
According to Tjongarero this agreement would see talent scouting done at school level, as what used to happen in the past when local sporting greats such as Frankie Fredericks, Ronny Kanalelo, Eliphas Shivute, Harry Simon, Agnes Samaria, Elizabeth Monghudi, Beata Naigambo, Helalia Johannes, Frankie Kayele, Luketz Swartbooi and many others were identified at schools. 
“We are confident that our work in this area, with our counterparts at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture will culminate in the drafting of the first-ever Integrated Physical Education and School Sport Policy. We believe that this programme will become the bedrock of our entire development continuum,” said Tjongarero.  
The directorate of youth within the Ministry will receive a budget amounting to N$184 million to cater for youth programmes and activities, while the National Youth Service is allocated an amount of N$75 million and nearly N$29 million will go towards the National Youth Council. 
Tjongarero said her Ministry is the best vehicle for nation building and attaining social cohesion, therefore she feels that it deserves to receive more funding in the future just like that of health, defence and education that continue to get the biggest chunk of the national cake. 
The Minister also focused on youth unemployment. According to the Labour Force Survey of 2018, the unemployment rate remained high at 33 percent, and of this youth unemployment stood to 46.1 percent. 
“I humbly plead with this august house to consider increasing the ministerial ceiling to enable us to deliver our key strategic objectives. Our constant focus as a ministry remains on the creation of youth empowerment opportunities.  
“Our key strategic objectives as captured in our strategic plan for 2017-2022, states that by 2022, our youth ought to be empowered and have adequate opportunities to actively participate in the economic development of Namibia,” said Tjongarero.