A school education and vocational training at the Waldorf School in Windhoek

A pilot project in Namibia

In order to reduce the high unemployment rate among school leavers and enable a direct transition to an individual's profession or further training measures, the Windhoek Waldorf School in Namibia has been offering its pupils not only a school education, but also vocational training since 2013. Pupils who pass the examinations then leave the school with a dual qualification. 

The pupils at the Waldorf School in Windhoek receive not only a Waldorf school education, but at the same time training in one of four professional fields. The young people can choose between the fields of agriculture and horticulture, tourism, electrics and solar energy, as well as office management and the retail trade. The vocational training is certified by the National Qualification Authority (NQA) and complies with the training standards that apply in Namibia. It is divided up into qualification levels which are recognised by all businesses and training institutions in Southern Africa.

The vocational training at the Waldorf School in Windhoek is separated into two sections. In school years 8 and 9 the young people initially receive comprehensive career guidance in all four areas. Then they opt for a career field in which they are further trained in school years 10 and 11 on four afternoons per week. Professional trainers from the fields of skilled crafts and trades, the retail trade and manufacturing industry enable close links between theory and practice. In this way they also acquire abilities such as communication skills, reliability, endurance and frustration tolerance, which are important for success in both their professional and private lives. The training opportunities offered at the Waldorf School in Windhoek are also very much welcomed by manufacturing industry and the retail trade, mainly because a commercial education in Namibia has been known up to now not as a career, but only as an academic education.


The Waldorf School in Windhoek

The private Waldorf School in Windhoek was founded in the year 2000 by an initiative of Namibian parents. Their goal was to create a place for the integration of pupils of European descent, as well as disadvantaged children and young people. Today, more than 70 per cent of the approximately 290 pupils belong to the above group of disadvantaged people, some of whom come from the poor neighbourhoods of Windhoek. For this group, the school receives donations from private sponsors in Germany and Europe. Moreover, there are also about 40 sponsorships in existence for the children.

In 2004 the school was able to take over some farmland and build a fully equipped private school there. Through the pilot project, the school has a unique selling point in the educational landscape of Namibia. Currently it is being expanded step-by-step into a full-time school. Childcare facilities for the pupils in the afternoon have been offered since 2009, and since 2012 the school has also had a kindergarten.

What are the funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION specifically used for?

The funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION were used for the construction of the vocational training building, in which the workshops and classrooms are housed. During the construction phase this was also provided with a second floor so that it could offer a sufficient number of classrooms for the growing number of pupils.

For how long has the MAHLE FOUNDATION been funding the project?

The MAHLE FOUNDATION has been funding the project since the beginning of the planning phase. It has been supporting the school since 2013 with the construction of the vocational training building and with project evaluation.