Namibia NurPhoto/Getty Images

Debemos aprender de Namibia

WINDHOEK – Situada al medio entre Angola y Sudáfrica, Namibia sufrió muchísimo durante la larga lucha contra el apartheid. No obstante, desde que logró su independencia de Sudáfrica en el año 1990, este país de 2,4 millones de personas ha logrado enormes avances, especialmente durante el último par de años.

Una razón de gran peso para el éxito de Namibia ha sido el enfoque adoptado por el gobierno en cuanto a la educación. Si bien las personas en los países avanzados consideran la educación primaria y secundaria gratuita como algo normal y corriente, en muchos países pobres, la educación secundaria, e incluso las escuelas primarias, requieren del pago de una matrícula. De hecho, los gobiernos a menudo recomiendan imponer el pago de una matrícula como una forma de “recuperación de costos”. En Namibia, sin embargo, la enseñanza primaria pública es gratuita; y, a partir del año escolar en curso, la educación pública secundaria también lo es.

Del mismo modo, el gobierno de Namibia es proactivo en otros aspectos importantes. Los esfuerzos de erradicación de la malaria han reducido los casos anuales en un 97% en aproximadamente una década. Resistiendo la tendencia mundial sobre un aumento de la desigualdad, el coeficiente de Gini de Namibia (la medida estándar de la desigualdad en la distribución del ingreso) se ha reducido en alrededor de 15 puntos desde el año 1993 (sin embargo, se debe puntualizar que este país tenía uno de los niveles más altos de desigualdad en el mundo). Y, la tasa de pobreza se redujo a la mitad, del 69% en 1993 a menos del 30%; además, la pobreza extrema (el número de personas que viven con menos de $1.90 al día) disminuyó en un nivel similar, desde un nivel algo menor al 53% a menos del 23%.

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