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Over 700 VET training instructors still unqualified …as faculty for VET instructors at NUST is on the cards

by Kelvin Chiringa

As government deepen efforts to solidify the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, steps have already been taken to establish a faculty at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) for the sole purpose of training unqualified instructors.

 Responding to a question at the inauguration of the Namibia Training Authority’s (NTA) board, NTA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jerry Beukes disclosed that an estimated 700 instructors remain unqualified to date.

Most of these are training at levels at which they themselves exited the system.

“I cannot graduate today with a degree and tomorrow teach those who are studying for a degree or with a masters and I am teaching the masters students. And these are the things that are actually compromising the quality. Compromising the employability of our trainees,” Higher Education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi said.

The move to have this idea pushed comes at a time when VTCs have been fingered as one of the few available options to absorb a majority of the Grade 12 pupils that have failed their examinations this year.

 “I am talking of a new faculty that we are starting at NUST that will focus on nothing else but instructors of all our vocational training centres. That’s one, number two an assessment has already been done by the NTA to establish how many are unqualified within the system. We know them,” she said.

The minister said the idea is to foremost make sure that they are better exposed.

“They come to these trainings depending on where their qualifications will place them. Is it at a certificate, is it a diploma, but then we offer the training in such a way that it does not interrupt the running of the normal VTC courses,” she said.

Responding to critics who have blamed troubles in the VET on the premise that those in the highest driving seats of the sector lack a vocational background, the minister said, to the contrary, what matters is one’s passion.

But the VET sector enters 2018 at the backdrop of severe budget cuts and deep-seated weaknesses which the minister pointed out as needing decisive remedy.

“As you know, the industry here is very small. With the Harambee Prosperity Plan that we have which talks about the fact that we need to expand access at TVeT and even the infrastructure within the country, it means that even the attachment opportunities will be limited and they are limited," she said.

At the present moment, once a student accomplishes COSDEC and proceed to VET level, there are no exemptions made, which makes it seem like the students studied for two different certificates.

The minister stressed that there should be marriage between the two.

Meanwhile, the new NTA board which was inaugurated yesterday comprises Amon Ngavetene, Michelle Van Wyk, Maryke Krohne (nominated by the Namibia Employers Federation) , Eva-Liza Nailenge and Cornelis Beuke (nominated by the Namibia Employers Association), Matheus Haakuria (nominated by Trade Union Congress of Namibia), Barbara Van Der Westhuizen (nominated by the National Union of Namibian Workers), Dr. Raimo Naanda (nominated by line ministry), Petrina Nghidengwa (nominated by labour ministry) and Michael Mutonga (nominated by the National Planning Commission).

Raimo Naanda is the acting Chairperson.