The pedagogic relevance of Namibian literature in English

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Namibia Educational Reform Forum Journal


This article presents the pedagogic relevance of Namibian literature in English and describes the views of Namibian literature course facilitators and language students. Through in-depth interviews, the study team sensitised educators, curriculum designers at NIED and high school learners to the pedagogic relevance of Namibian literature in English. We advocate for the inclusion of many more Namibian literary texts in the English curriculum at all levels of the Namibian education system. We visited a total of 23 high schools and 2 public universities and collected 69 questionnaires, conducted 31 interviews with high school teachers and 32 with learners. The views of five university lecturers and two language experts at NIED were also included. A review of the Namibian high school curriculum (Grade 9-12) shows that only two Namibian literary texts: Sifiso Nyathi’s “God of women” and a poem about Hendrik Witbooi were included in the new ESL syllabus. This team could not identify a single Namibian short story, novel, or an autobiography as part of the high school ESL syllabus. The Namibian high school ESL syllabus has given more focus on the descriptive, functional, and communicative grammar tasks, essay writing exercises and short piece composition activities. The imaginative writing and creative thinking part of language teaching has almost been neglected. On the contrary, at the tertiary level, it can be conspicuously observed that there exists a tremendous growth of research niche areas in the Namibian texts at UNAM and NUST. We concluded that Namibian literature in the Namibian high schools has not been taught to enhance the linguistic capabilities, the overall personalities, the literary competencies of high school learners and inculcate the diverse Namibian cultures, values, and traditions.



language pedagogy, Namibian literature, relevance, literature teaching, ESL


Woldemariam, H. K. , and Gawas, E. U. (2023). The pedagogic relevance of Namibian literature in English. In Namibia Educational Reform Forum Journal vol.31(1), 12-28.