Contact Person: Mr Gert W Fourie
Position: Chief Education Officer
Fax: 09264 621 502 613
Tel: 09264 621 502 446
Postal Address Private Bag 2034
When Namibia gained independence in 1990, one of its biggest challenges
was to build a new educational system where quality education for all is the cornerstone.
There was a need for education relevant to Namibia, adaptable to the changing needs of
Namibian society, and determined by Namibians themselves.
The National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) was
established in 1990 as the department within the Ministry of Basic Education and Culture
with the continuous task of ensuring that education in Namibia is developed and improved
in accordance with the latest development in education and the needs of the people of
NIED is a national resource for mobilizing both human and physical
resources in improving the quality and relevance of education through innovative
curriculum and materials development, and research in education and training, and by
linking the Ministry of Basic Education and Culture (MBEC) to the local community and
Namibia to the international community in these fields.
NIED is headed by a Director, and has two main divisions. One division
is Curriculum Research and Development. It is responsible for developing the curriculum
and the assessment system, and new syllabuses for individual subjects. New subjects emerge
to meet new needs, and existing subjects must be adapted to new circumstances, new
knowledge, and new approaches. Curriculum materials are revised on an ongoing basis to
meet new needs. The other division is the Professional and Resource Development, which is
responsible for two major areas of education: improving the knowledge and skills of the
teaching profession and educational managers and conducting educational research.
Areas of Focus
NIED is responsible for evaluating, designing, and developing curricula
for the educational system, introducing effective approaches to teaching and learning,
coordinating the development of instructional materials, educational research, preparing
and coordinating an effective system of pre-service and in-service teaching education, and
providing training in educational management.
The introduction of English as the medium of instruction for Grades 4
to 12 requires new approaches and materials to prepare teachers and learners for the new
medium. Namibia is a country rich in languages, but their development has been unequal.
The language subdivisions will ensure that syllabuses and teaching materials are available
for all languages and relevant to the needs of learners.
Pre-Service Teacher Education
The development of pre-service teacher education is done in cooperation
with the colleges of education and the university. NIED initiates the development of new
curricula, brings in resource persons to support reforms and ensures input and feedback
from the school system.
In-Service Teacher Education
The new curricula for pre-service teacher education also apply to the
in-service training of teachers. This division is being established, and will give
guidance to teachers resource centres at regional, district, and local level. These
resource centres will give in-service training and support to teachers in the everyday
Research is essential to the development of education, and research
specialists are attached to this division. They investigate various aspects of the process
of educational development and innovation, so that curricula, materials, teaching, and
management are continually improved.
The professional and resource development division administers a
well-stocked resource centre. It is a resource for NIED staff, regional resource centres
and the Ministry as a whole.
How NIED Works
NIED has an active involvement in education in the country through
networks and partnerships with teachers, schools, resource centres, environmental
education centres, other parts of the MBEC, and the regional offices. NIED also links up
with top national resources in education, such as the colleges of education, the
university, and the polytechnic. Other linkages include ministries, non-governmental
organizations, unions, employers, and more. NIED is also part of several international
networks for educational research and development
One of the most important networks is the system of curriculum panels
for school subjects. These panels are nationally representative, and consist of teachers
from schools and colleges, the university, advisory teachers, and others.
Several important networks link up the division for Professional and
Resource Development with the colleges of education, and with teachers resource
centres and Regional Offices, for in-service teacher education.
When innovations are planned and implemented, representative working
groups are set up, and draft documents are sent out for discussion. It is a fundamental
working principle of NIED that changes are made on the basis of wide participation and
involvement. The process of change must be democratic.
Local And International Contact
NIED is both a driving force in the reform and renewal of education in
Namibia, and keeps its finger on the pulse of change in the nation and internationally.
Its programmes are currently supported by Namibian and international organizations such as
Namdeb, EU, FINNIDA, Ibis (WUS Denmark), ABSO, Peace Corps, NAMAS, NORAD, DifID, Sida,
GTZ, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, USAID, and UNFPA