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Namibia, officially known as the Republic of Namibia, is a relatively large country in Southern Africa, with a total geographic area of over 318,000 square miles.  The coastal country’s western border is formed by the Atlantic Ocean, and it shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east.  Namibia claimed its independence from South Africa in the spring of 1990 following the Namibian War of Independence, and is now a member in good standing of the United Nations, the African Union and the Commonwealth of Nations.  The capital and largest city in Namibia is Windhoek.
 
Occupying the large land area that makes up Namibia is a population of merely 2.1 million, giving the country the second-lowest population density of any sovereign country in the world, after Mongolia.  The majority of the population is of Bantu-speaking origin, primarily of the Ovambo ethnicity, a group that lives in the northern portion of the country and comprises approximately half of the population.  Other ethnic groups living in the country include the Herero and Himba people, along with the Damara, who speak the same “click-type” language as the Nama people who together live in the south.  Seven percent of the country is made up of whites, primarily of Portuguese, Dutch, German and British heritage, together forming the second-largest population of European ancestry in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
 
English is the official language of Namibia and is used in government, business and education, but the country is actually quite multi-lingual, including those that speak the English, German, Afrikaans and Oshiwamba languages.  Christianity is by far the most predominant religion in Namibia, practiced by roughly 80-90 percent of the population, primarily the Roman Catholic and the various Protestant faiths.
 
Education in Namibia
 
Education in Namibia is under the supervision of the national government and is free and compulsory for ten years for children between the ages of six and sixteen.  The education system itself is divided between three distinct levels:  primary education, secondary education and higher or tertiary education.
 
Primary education in Namibia spans seven years (grade one through grade seven) for students aged 6 to 13.  The initial two grade levels focus almost exclusively on reading and writing education, as well as basic arithmetic, subjects that are later supplemented by courses in science, history, geography, language arts, social, cultural and religious studies, physical education and fine arts.
 
Secondary education in Namibia spans five years (grade eight through grade twelve), although only the first three years are mandatory, a period in which the instruction focuses on many of the same subjects listed above, albeit more advanced.  In the final two years of secondary school students can choose to continue their academic studies, in preparation for university admission, or opt instead to enroll in vocational education and train for one of many Namibian career fields, particularly those that are agriculturally-related.
 
Higher education in Namibia is provided by a handful of universities, both public and private, four teacher-training colleges, three colleges of agriculture and a police training institute.

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