The deputy minister for Education, David Namwandi, has urged Namibian youth to use education as a stepping stone towards achieving their set life goals and commit all their time to their studies during the school going period.
Namwandi who delivered the keynote speech at the commencement of the Model United Nations Namibia (MUNAM) conference last week, advised young people to take inspiration from Namibia’s own Japie van Zyl who is in charge of the Mars Project and realise the expanse of possibilities on offer for them.
The deputy minister further applauded United Nations (UN)’s effort in organising the event, saying it will develop young Namibians and see them mature to a whole new level.
“Only by enacting real life problems can you learn the challenges faced by real life leaders. Only by role-playing the tasks of different world leaders in diffucult situations can you learn to consider a problem from all sides and so can you experience the difficulties in reaching consensus. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and critisise decisions taken by our national, business and world leaders but if you were to step into the hypothetical shoes of a prime minister, cabinet minister or president of any country, you would have more respect for the situations they have to unravel,” Namwaandi noted.
The MUNAM conference - which concluded last Saturday, was a first for Namibia but has already been implemented in a number of countries around the world - is an international programme in which high school learners and university students simulate the decision-making process of UN committees.
It is a UN academic simulation that aims to educate participants about current events, topics of international relations, diplomacy and the UN’s agenda.
The participants role-play as diplomats representing a nation or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a simulated session of a UN committee, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. They also do research on a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult and then develop solutions to world problems.
In Namibia, students are recruited from various schools or tertiary education institutions by way of nominations submitted by teachers, pupils and students themselves.
The United Nations Human Rights (UNHCR) representative in Namibia, Dr Lawrence Mgbangson expressed his hope that a project like MUNAM will sensitise the youth about issues pertaining to refugees, for instance.
Mgbangson noted that a platform like this will ultimately erase barriers like xenophobia as the next generation will comprehend the struggles and challenges faced by refugees.