The Minister of Education, Abraham Iyambo, today commended Nedbank and Old Mutual Namibia (OMN) for joining hands to avail financial assistance to Namibian students.
The success of education, deputy permanent secretary in the Education Ministry, Hannu Shipena who stood in for the minister said, depends on partners sharing a joint agenda on education and training.
This he said during the Old Mutual and NedNamibia Education Trust Bursary handover of 10 bursaries worth N$305 000.
He further stated that it is important to understand that Vision 2030 calls for increased middle and high level skills, which are imperative for the promotion of economic growth, which should subsequently transform Namibia into a knowledge-based economy.
OMN CEO, Sakaria Nghikembua, also stressed the importance of investing in education; “We need to identify talent from our midst and then financially enable them to pursue studies in the areas which have been collectively identified as the key enablers of our advancement.”
According to Nghikembua, the Fund has, since its inception in 2008, awarded 50 students out of the 2777 who had applied for financial assistance. He also noted that the overwhelming number of applicants demonstrates the desire amongst Namibian citizens to study and acquire skills needed in order to make significant contributions to the society.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education has allocated N$512m for student loans and scholarships, as well as registered an increase in loan bursary and scholarship applications, Shipena said.
In this financial year, a total of 10 581 local students and 609 Namibian students abroad have been awarded loans, while 69 postgraduate scholarships have also been awarded.
Shipena added, sponsoring students at tertiary institutions remains a challenge: “In spite of Government efforts to fund higher education, the educational needs remain enormous and continue to grow.”