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Rundu VTC strives to meet industrial demand

Tue, 27 August 2013 00:33
by Andreas Kathindi

Having opened its doors in 1987 as the Rundu Technical Institute, the Rundu Vocational Training Centre (RVTC) offers training to prospective students in the areas of woodwork and auto-mechanics.
At inception, the VTC recorded its first intake of 40 trainees who had enrolled from local feeder schools, such as the Rundu Junior Secondary, Leevi Hakusembe and Linus Shashipapo. It also attracted learners from as far as Grootfontein and Tsumeb.
In 1989, the construction of the current centre started to be completed in December 1990. The new centre was officially inaugurated on 7th June 1991.
The following year, auto-electrical and bricklaying courses were added to the training curriculum, followed by plumbing, electrical general and office administration, in 1996.
Today, RVTC is considered and valued as a centre of excellence for vocational education and training in northeastern Namibia. Its current enrollment spills over 750 trainees who have been trained by about 40 instructors in eight occupational areas, such as auto-electrical; auto-mechanics; bricklaying and plastering; electrical general; joinery and cabinetmaking, plumbing and pipe-fitting; office administration, as well as information and communication technology.
Rundu VTC is situated in Maria Mwengere Road, approximately three kilometres east of the town. It offers accommodation to prospective students at a hostel facility.
Centre manager, Erkki Tjandja is proud of the centre’s achievements since its humble beginnings: “Rundu VTC takes pride in its response to industrial demand. Industry employers value our centre because we continue to provide quality graduates visible and active in all industry sectors. We believe in freeing up opportunities for people from all walks of life to become skilled workers through the quality, affordable and sustainable training we provide.”
The centre has also made significant strides in striking up partnerships and agreements with employers across industry sectors, countrywide. Such partnerships support job attachment opportunities for trainees as part of their practical training.
“More than 90% of our trainees find job attachments. The fact that over 85% find employment after training is proof that our trainees undoubtedly contribute to the growth of our country,” Tjandja stresses.
Another objective Tjandja and his team have set for the centre is attracting more women to enroll in vocational and technical qualifications. For that he beams: “Challenging perceptions rooted in our socio-culture practices, including societal norms, prejudices, a lack of female role models and ignorance is not easy. But female learners increasingly take up training in male-dominated trade occupations. We currently have about 350 female trainees, compared to the 450 males.”
Tjandja also praises the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) for its proactive role in this regard: “Despite budgetary constraints, the NTA continues to do well in assisting our centre. Our trainees have tremendously benefited from donations of quality textbooks, tools and equipment. The NTA has also secured funding through the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N), to fund the training of young Namibians from previously disadvantaged backgrounds in key priority areas at Rundu VTC.”