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Vocational education needs to patch loopholes - Kandjii-Murangi

Mon, 27 June 2016 17:09
by Donald Matthys

The Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) sub-sector needs to properly articulate levels of education and training to do away with dead ends in the system as well as expand access, the Minister of Higher Education and Training and Innovation, Idah Kandjii-Murangi said.
Kandjii-Murangi said that seeing that Namibia is trapped in a framework of economic and social inequalities, there is a responsibility to deliver on the promises and set targets and goals of the education sector, which include equipping youth and adults with the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship according to Sustainable Development Goal 4.
“We must collectively, as key stakeholders of tertiary education, realise that expectations are high and pressure is mounting in our country for the education sector to do things differently, in order to arrive at different but desirable tangible results. To this effect, we should also look at cross-cutting policies, programs and initiatives such as the labour laws, industrialisation policies, employment practices, apprenticeship and others,” the Minister said.
In Namibia, TVET, Higher Education and STI systems are expected to do no less than what is expressed by the SDGs. Namibia’s Vision 2030 as it pertains to education, training and innovation is aligned to the global movement set out by the SDG’s.
Kandjii-Murangi added that although Namibia’s two main leading public universities, UNAM and NUST, and other registered and recognized tertiary institutions offer quality education and populate the different sectors of the country’s workforce, the scarcity of technical and creative technology skilled professionals across the sectors, remains severe for a country that has set itself a target to be industrialized and competitive, in less than 15 years.
“Acceleration of skills’ development is key to job creation, value addition, reduction of unemployment and poverty eradication. A paradigm shift is urgently needed to unlock the full potential of the twin goals of tertiary education: knowledge creation and skills’ development for our country. It is up to all of us, dear educators to vow to the active participation in this process.  Therefore, the traditional fragmented programs and efforts of tertiary education must be aligned into a highly interconnected education system, with clear progression paths, and education systems with no dead ends,” Kandjii-Murangi said.
The Ministry of Higher education held a Validation Workshop of the UNESCO Scoping Mission in to TVET, Higher Education and Science, Technology and innovation systems in order to review, transform, and align programs of study the current vocational system.
“Many of the poor work as daily labourers or run micro-enterprises. The more educated they are, the more likely they will be to start their own business. In Uganda, owners of household enterprises who had completed primary education earned 36% more than those with no education. Those with lower secondary education earned 56% more. These statistics do not however indicate the actual earnings but it should be safe to say that these households may have escaped abject poverty but still live in poverty,” the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho said.
The Harambee Prosperity Plan aims to ensure that every Namibian has access to the basic necessities for survival by meeting those most basic needs and by so doing, enable every Namibian to realise their full potential and prosper according to their inherent abilities.
Some of the key outcomes pending successful implementation of this Plan include, a more transparent Namibia; a culture of high performance and citizen-centred service delivery; a significant reduction in poverty levels; to note a reputable and competitive vocational educational training system; and a spirit of entrepreneurship resulting in increased youth enterprise development.