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Namibia is located on the southwest coast of Africa and is bordered by Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. The population is 2,088,669 and the literacy rate is 85%. English is the official language, but the majority of the population speaks Afrikaans. Namibia was the first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution. Namibia has the 2nd lowest population density in the world.

Human habitation of the area of present-day Namibia can be traced back to the Bushmen. In the 14th century AD, Bantu tribesmen settled in the area. The first European explorers were Portuguese navigators who arrived in 1485. In the 19th century, the area became a German colony known as German South-West Africa. During World War I, South Africa occupied German South-West Africa and administered it as a League of Nations territory. South Africa unilaterally annexed the territory after World War II. This annexation was not recognized by any other country.

The South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) began a guerrilla war in 1966 that led to South Africa agreeing to give up Namibia in 1988. Namibia was granted independence on March 21, 1990.


Primary and Secondary Education

Education is free and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16. Primary school is 7 years beginning at age 5. The first year is comparable to kindergarten. Junior secondary school is 3 years and leads to the Namibian Junior Secondary Certificate. Senior secondary school is 2 years. At the end of the 2nd year, students sit for an external examination leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the Namibian Secondary School Certificate (NSSC).

Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary educational programs are offered at the University of Namibia, the Polytechnic of Namibia, college of education, and several private institutions.

First Cycle, Academic

First-level university and polytechnic programs are 3 - 4 years and lead to a Bachelors degree. Bachelors (Honours) programs are an additional year following a Bachelors degree.

First Cycle, Vocational/Technical

Vocational/technical programs are 1 to 3 years and lead to the Advanced Certificate, National Certificate, National Higher Certificate, and the National Diploma.

Second and Third Cycles

Masters degrees are one year of study following a 4-year Bachelors degree. The Doctor of Philosophy is awarded after at least 2 years of study following a masters degree and defense of a dissertation.

Teacher Training

Primary and lower secondary school teachers are trained in a 3-year program at one of the colleges of education. The program leads to the Basic Education Teacher Diploma (BETD). Admission requires a International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or the Namibian Secondary School Certificate (NSSC). Upper secondary school teachers must hold a Bachelor of Education.



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