Namibia Children and School

By | June 4, 2021

Do all children in Namibia go to school?

The state spends a lot of money on education in Namibia, but despite the high spending, Namibia’s school system is lagging behind. Almost all children start school, but 20 out of 100 children leave school again during elementary school. Many young people are then unemployed.

Schooling is compulsory in Namibia. So all children should go to school. But as a country located in Africa according to, Namibia is a very large country and many families live on farms in the country or still move from place to place as nomads. So it is a big challenge to build schools that all children can reach. After all, 89 out of 100 children go to school – 11 but not.

Long ways to school and a foreign language

For the nomadic children in particular, it is not easy to attend school at all, because they often have to travel a long way to the next school, which is not always safe. And when they are in school, the teacher speaks in a language they don’t even know.

Several kilometers to school are the rule rather than the exception. But a school alone does not provide lessons. Even though English is the official language of the country, some children only speak their own language, such as the Himba and the San. It is very difficult for some children to follow the lessons because they often do not understand the language at all. If they leave school too early, they haven’t learned too much.

But not only the children of the nomads have problems, even in the big cities, school attendance is not a matter of course for children. There are many slums here where the poor Namibians live and life is perhaps even more dangerous there than in the countryside. There are plans to improve schools in Namibia, but not all children have benefited from it so far.

Schools in Namibia are often poorly equipped

Many schools are also not well equipped. What you take for granted, like having paper and exercise books, scissors or glue, is not a matter of course for Namibian children.

Attending a primary school is free. But there are additional costs for books, for transport to school or for school clothes, which many families cannot afford and so they leave their children at home.

Namibia Schools

Work instead of school

Other children have to work and their parents don’t send them to school. The children may just be attending primary school, but are then needed as workers and help out in the parental household or in the fields. Children not only work in agriculture, but also in factories, do housework, work in shops, collect rubbish or beg.


Many people have contracted AIDS

The most common cause of death in Namibia is AIDS. Namibia has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world. Every fifth inhabitant between the ages of 15 and 49 has already been infected. And according to UNICEF, 100,000 children have lost both parents to AIDS. There are also many AIDS orphans in Namibia, i.e. children who no longer have parents and are therefore on their own.

Women and girls in particular are now more likely to be infected with AIDS than boys and men. Your risk of developing AIDS and dying is very high. This poses major problems, as the women in particular take care of everyday things and are usually also responsible for the food supply. When women are absent, little works in everyday life.