The Executive Management and entire staff of Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture recently welcomed the appointment of Mr. Gerard Norman Vries, effective September 1 as the new Deputy Executive Director for LifeLong Learning, Arts and Culture taking over from Ms Veno Kauaria following her resignation last year.
Vries has an impressive collection of academic qualifications, including a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Iowa State University; Certificates of Achievement attained in Denver, Colorado and Indianapolis, Indiana through the Fundraising School, Indiana University; Bachelor of Education, University of Namibia; Higher Education Diploma (Post-graduate), University of Namibia; African Studies Diploma, University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Arts (Social Studies), University of Cape Town amongst others.
Vries brings a wealth of experience to his new role of providing strategic leadership and supervision of the Ministry’s Directorates such as Adult Education, Arts, Heritage and Culture, Namibia Library and Archives Services.
Having started his career as a Paralegal at the Legal Assistance Centre in 1991, he joined the Education community as a Relief Teacher in 1992 and held several teaching positions including Teacher, Head of Department and School Principal up until 2007.
In September, 2007, he joined the then Polytechnic of Namibia as a Deputy Registrar responsible for the Academic Administration, including Faculty Administration, Assessment Administration, Student Recordkeeping, Meetings Administration and Governance.
In October, 2014 he re-joined the Ministry as the Director of Khomas Regional Council, Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture, a position he held until his recent appointment.
In this role he distinguished himself with his knack for fundraising for education and infrastructural projects through inter-governmental organisations, donor agencies and intra-regional campaigns with primary, resource and secondary schools. Most notable is the elevation of numerous primary schools by classroom construction out of the double-shift system of teaching and learning as well as construction of soup kitchens throughout primary schools in the region.
“We wish Vries all the best as he embraces this role and pledge our continued support in steering LifeLong Learning, Arts and Culture to greater heights. Your experience, skills, credentials and understanding of our operations is a great addition to our dynamic EXCO team. We are so excited to have you with us and look forward to working with you,” Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp said.