Name: Narema Bezuidenhout
From: Cape Town, RSA (Republic of South Africa).
Tribe and Mother Tongue- Coloured, English. **In Namibia people describe themselves as coloured if they are black and white mix. I’ll allow Wikipedia to explain in more detail**
How long have you lived in Rundu?
My husband was born in Grootfontein, grew up in Windhoek. We moved to Rundu in 1995.
Grade and subjects you teach-
Grades 8 – 12 Afrikaans 2nd Language
How many learners do you teach on a daily basis this year?
I teach 210 learners a day
How long have you been a teacher?
Qualified in 1983. Teaching for 9 years.
What inspired you to become a teacher in Namibia?
My dad inspired me. I did not know what to do in my teens. He must have seen something I did not. When I started teaching in Grootfontein I realised that this is what my passion is; teaching.
What do you think are some of the challenges of being an educator and education in Namibia?
Teaching facilities like classrooms size too small, furniture inadequate, the heat – no proper ventilation. Technology in classrooms virtually non-existent.
No easily assessable resources for teachers to make specific lessons in various subjects interesting; not exposed/connected to other teachers from other schools; or a better way to teach something other than the way you have done it all the time.
Learners are mostly from a poor household not having regular meals, some are embarrassed and will not openly admit it. Learners do not have a comfortable area on the school premises to have their lunch. Learners have to carry many books in their bags every day. Text books become damaged and get lost easily
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be doing?
Office work – paper work.
Who was your most influential teacher and why?
Books have been most influential for me. Reading various books about children and their experiences, made me realize how important experiences are and the influence it can have on their lives (positive or negative). This motivates me.
When you’re not teaching, lesson preparing or marking, what do you like to do for fun?
What has been your best teaching moment? For example, something great a learner said to you, a learner who you taught who is succeeding later in life, etc.
I was arranging a class party and one learner volunteered to bring meat for the whole class. I asked him if he was sure and should ask his Mom. He confirmed and said he was aware that there were 50 learners. On the day of the party he asks permission to go home to bring the meat which was ready. He returns with a bowl of 10 pieces of fried chicken. I was upset that it was far too little and that he did not keep his promise of providing meat for everyone. (other students made salads) When the time came to serve the class, I called him to serve the chicken himself. To my surprise he breaks a piece of chicken from each piece and offers it to the students. Some learners at the end of the line did not get any but no one seemed to be upset nor complained. I was puzzled.
I asked about this and was told that people share everything, even if it is a little that they have. That is the way it is. So all his friends were satisfied with what he could offer them.
What is your favorite part about teaching? Is it in the actual classroom or outside?
In the actual classroom, interacting with learners.
Why do you enjoy working with youth?
Youth have energy and most are eager to learn. This gives me energy and trying to find new ways to teach at their level. Each of the different personalities are so interesting, and trying to find out positive or strong character traits in them.