Postcolonial teacher education reform in Namibia: Travelling of policies and ideas
Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 15, Issue 2, March 2016
This article reviews the impact of an educational reform in Namibia in the early 1990s called the Integrated Teacher Training Programme (ITTP), which was an outcome of collaboration between the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), the liberation movement and teacher educators from Sweden and other Western countries.
Research questions posed concerned: (1) the ITTP’s perceived impact on the participants’ private and professional lives; and (2) the ITTP’s impact on the participants’ views on knowledge and education in relation to democracy.
A combination of individual interviews and questionnaires was administered in situ in 2009 in Namibia to 17 former ITTP students who were living in various places across Namibia.
This follow-up study indicates that the ITTP was crucial for the participants’ professional careers and private lives. The majority saw education as a key to democracy and social transformation, and considered themselves as important actors at local, regional and national levels in forwarding these aims. However, it is concluded that, while the learner-centred education philosophy initially had a strong impact, its application in teacher education has functioned more than anything as a rhetorical device for nation-building.