We now decided upon the winners of our essay competition. The topic was: “How do you see the importance of English in Namibia? Is there any lack in the use of English in the Namibian education sector? If so, how would you improve the situation?”. Amongst the seven submitted essays, our users chose one of the two winners whereas the team of Welwitschia Germany and Welwitschia Namibia selected the second winner. We will award the prize of N$500 each in the next few days and post a picture of the award ceremony. Read here the two winning essays.
Jacobina Nambahu (chosen by Welwitschia)
All over the world libraries are dedicated to providing free and equitable access to information for all, be it in written, electronic or audiovisual form. They play a key role in creating literate environments and promoting literacy by offering relevant and attractive reading material for all ages and all literacy levels and by offering adult and family literacy classes. They embrace the social responsibility to offer services that bridge social, political and economic barriers, and traditionally make a special effort to extend their services to marginalized people. Libraries assist in finding, using and interpreting appropriate information that opens up opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy enhancement, informed citizenship, recreation, creative imagination, individual research, critical thinking, and ultimately, empowerment in an increasingly complex world.
English has aptly been described as our ‘window on the world’ and for good reason, but it is doubtful if it can be used as a ‘door’ to reach that window unseasonably. Psychologists are generally agreed that a foreign language cannot be the language of early concept formation and of socialization. True, among the intelligentsia of newly emergent countries, political consciousness was maintained in a state of ferment through the medium of metropolitan languages. English may thus have marginally integrated people at the leadership level, but as an instrument of national integration it would not do nearly as well. Teaching the concept of pluralism must begin early.
The most natural aid to the growth of concepts and formation of attitudes would appear to be the language a person is born into. Educators who introduce a foreign language as the medium of instruction prematurely run the risk of producing a generation with a mechanical verbal knowledge unrelated to its environment. That such a generation could further engender generations of woolly-minded and half-baked men and women is not altogether an alarmist view.
Nicholas Hans, the well-known comparative educationist, substantiates this view and provides a classic example. He concedes that in learning a foreign language, terms denoting concrete objects perceived through the senses would present no difficult to the child. They would either be directly connected with the objects or translated from the mother tongue. But abstract ideas are a different matter. He continues: “…in any original language, the words denoting ideas and relations were gradually built up from a simile based on some sense impression and changed their meaning through a long process of linguistic adaptation. For a child speaking its native tongue, it is not difficult to recover the connecting links between the original and the transferred significance of the word. For a child learning a foreign language the second transferred meaning has to be learned by heart. The child thus loses the intermediate stage closely connecting the idea with sense impressions and his knowledge of the meaning of the word is only verbal
In conclusion but the assumption that pupils ‘learn’ enough English at the primary levels to be able to ‘use’ it in the secondary classes is untenable. Language is never such a self-sufficient skill in this sense except when children learn it through its use, as with the mother tongue. Those who argue the case for English might well be tempted to point to the proven competence in English of the relatively better educated indigenous urban South African and to the fact that teaching of English has an established tradition in certain parts of South Africa. However, it would be less than objective to use this insignificant example to make a vast generalization. Besides, such an indigenous South African had a favourable milieu in which to learn English.
Abed Nangombe (chosen by our users)
English is the language of England and has International Standard. There are several important factors that make us to learn English Language to go through in the current time. First of all, as I already mention, it has International Standard, that’s why everyone needs to learn English in order to get in touch on International Level. Nowadays, English is called International Language and it is also the second language of our country in the world. Therefore, we can realize the importance in communication of this language. When we know English, we can come to and communicate with the citizens of country (Namibia) without any confusion in expressing our feelings and thinking’s.
English is very important in Namibia as it is the official language of the country and it’s considered as the medium of instruction in every government and almost every private institution in the country, keeping this in mind, the Parliament has also recognized English as an official language. When looking at Educational fields, i found out that a lot of the syllabus is written in English. Children are taught and encouraged to learn English on starting levels. And accordingly, as they promote to the next levels they study almost all the subjects in English. Having said that English helps all tribes in Namibia to communicate in a well effective way.
Furthermore it is the most dominant language of diplomacy, business and science, economy, computer and internet in the country. It should also be noted that more than 90% of websites are written and created in English with +-80% of the data stored in the computers around the country is in English. If you do not speak English this is a lot of information that won’t have access to. An impressive +-36% of the internet users communicate in English. Today a good knowledge in English belongs to the most important requirements in many professions. A person that speaks English well also has a better chance of finding a good job in the country and abroad, many multi-national companies when dealing with cross-border business communication will do it in English.
As we know, in this modern day national businesses are targeting qualities of employees; and, knowing English is one of those qualities. Consequently, if we know English and good at it, we will have more chances to get a job. Moreover, with an enough amount of knowledge in English, the possibility of promotion in position is even higher; this increases the economy of the country as the unemployment rate decreases.
Apart from that, it is the language of art, the film industry, music and books. Knowing English opens up a great range of entertainment possibilities and the ability to immerse you in new worlds of cultural understanding. Many of the national and world’s top films, books and music are published and produced in English. Therefore Namibia having English as an official language helps us have access to a great wealth of entertainment and will be able to have a greater cultural understanding.
With good understanding and communication in English, it helps Namibian to travel around the globe. We get assistance and help in English in every part of world English is the most commonly used language among foreign language speakers. Throughout the world, when people with different languages come together they commonly use English to communicate so this helps us Namibian to interact with foreigners either when they come to our country or when we are the one in their countries. Another importance is that it is the language of science. To excel in science you need to know English so knowing English helps Namibia to excel in science. English language is one tool to establish our viewpoint. We can learn from others experience. We can check the theories of foreigners against our experience. We can reject the untenable and accept the tenable. We can also propagate our theories among the international audience and readers and make use of English to promote our worldview and spiritual heritage throughout the globe. A language attracts people because of the wealth of literature and knowledge enshrined in it.
In brief, we cannot deny the importance of English language in Namibia. This language helps us to express thinking’s and feelings, to talk, to exchange views, and to contract between person and person though wherever we live. Furthermore, in the world that English is considered as the main language, English is now taking an importance part in the chance to take a job. Hence, we can predict that English language will continue to develop and bring us more advantages in the near future; and, maybe someday, English will be the only language in the world.