The Namibian Chapter of the Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) project was launched by education minister, Dr David Namwandi last week.
The US$2m (N$20m) project is collaboration between the Namibian Training Authority (NTA), the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
It has been established to support five member states in the Southern Africa Development Community, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Namibia.
It is aimed at identifying, designing and implementing specific country objectives in a bid to improve the responsiveness and relevance of the local technical and vocational education systems to individual and labour market needs.
According to the acting chief executive officer of the NTA, Ester Anna Nghipondoka, the BEAR project in Namibia is expected to yield results such as an updated curricula that respond to national and international standard requirements. The enhanced capacity of Vocational Education and Training (VET) trainers to deliver programmes in a competent manner and improved overall capacity within the VET system.
“I have no doubt in my mind that it (BEAR project) will assist us in the development of a capable and skilled national workforce,” Nghipondoka said.
But she warned that it will require close collaboration between the NTA and its various stakeholders, including vocational education and training institutions and businesses to render such training to all the stakeholders.
Dr Jeong Yoon Cho, the Team Project Manager of Korea Research Institute for Vocational Educational and Training (KRIVET) said Namibia can work with Korea on school-industry collaboration and he said there are approaches that can be done to overcome challenges.
“To overcome challenges, structured registration of training providers is needed and it is necessary for Namibia to introduce industrial skills upgrading programs for VET instructors,” he said.