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Namcol introduces Khoe-khoegowab

by Debisa Cooper


Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) will introduce the Khoe-khoegowab language in the syllabus for the next academic year (2013).  

The introduction of Khoe-khoegowab, also known as Nama/Damara at Namcol, comes after a recommendation by teachers at a workshop last year where they discussed different problems facing their schools regarding the language.

A lot of issues were raised including that all the other languages are offered at Namcol except Khoe-khoegowab.

The teachers then carried out a research on the language as requested by Namcol management after consulting them.

Namcol wanted to know the number of learners interested in enrolling for the language with them.

Different community leaders in the Windhoek area and traditional authorities joined forces to support the introduction of the language at Namcol.

“Offering the language at Namcol will enable many learners to boost their Grade 10 and 12 results and give opportunities to both the young and the old to know their language and to understand it much better,” said Ms Ochurus, a Khoe-khoegowab language teacher at Augeikhas Primary School.

Khoe-khoegowab is the second most widely spoken language in Namibia with approximately 175 554 speakers.

There has been a huge interest in students who have taken up the language at Unam’s Main and Khomasdal Campuses.

According to Dr Levi Namaseb, a Khoe-khoegowab lecturer in the department of languages at Unam, about 20 students register for teaching for Khoe-khoegowab annually.

He also added that he found it interesting that students from other ethnic groups are also showing interest in the course which made him say they would need more lecturers.

“More schools are integrating language studies into their curriculum,” Namaseb said.  

He further said students at the Khomasdal campus can only teach at primary school level upon graduation and very soon, schools will be crying for more teachers at high school level, as the demand grows for Khoe-khoegowab at schools.

He also questioned why Khoe-khoegowab has not been integrated in Namcol`s curriculum to this point.

“If there is an interest, the subject should be offered.

Many learners coming from the south for instance would like to study the language but are forced to take English and Afrikaans at Namcol yet there are many career opportunities for those interested in the language such as language inspecting, teaching and tutoring, amongst others,” he said.