After Independence in March 1990, the then Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport began reviewing the language policy for schools. The agreed policy was issued in the document Education and Culture in Namibia: The Way Forward to 1996 in 1991.
The policy goals include:
- The seven-year primary education cycle should enable learners to acquire reasonable competence in English, the official language, and be prepared for English medium instruction throughout the secondary cycle.
- Education should promote the language and cultural identity of learners through the use of mother tongue as medium of instruction in Grades 1-3 and the teaching of mother tongue throughout formal education. Grade 4 is a transitional year in which the mother tongue plays a supportive role in the teaching. Mother tongue should be taught as a subject.
- Schools must offer not less than two languages as subjects from Grade 1.