WINDHOEK – The Polytechnic of Namibia and the Ministry of Defence yesterday announced the first intake of 68 Namibia Defence Force members for a certificate course in the School of Engineering.
Graduating Namibia Defence Force (NDF) members will receive their certificates in June 2013. Chief of the NDF, Lieutenant-General Epaphras Denga Ndaitwah, and Dr Tjama Tjivikua the rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), signed the study agreement recently.
The introduction of the course marks the culmination of cooperation between the PoN and the defence ministry, which has resulted in the joint development of the training programme aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of ministry staff.
The training programme and subsequent qualifications will initiate a process whereby vocational education and training practitioners will be categorised as professionals in their respective fields and ensure eventual qualification at graduate level.
The learning content of these programmes has been devised with the aim to provide students with a broader knowledge base that will enable them to function more professionally in the education and training environment.
“It is an imperative that an employee of any institution offers a professional service, because every person demands quality service and in public service, public funds are at stake. This means that any professional ought to be competent - psychologically, physiologically and pedagogically,” said Dr Tjama Tjivikua the Rector of the Polytechnic.
Tjivikua added that military personnel must render a specialised and qualified service and the new course was expressly created to build human capacity in the military – that is, to professionalise the workforce in their respective roles.
“In this respect, consultations on cooperation between the two institutions were initiated by the Ministry of Defence at the end of 2008, when it requested the Polytechnic to assist with developing military qualifications,” said the Tjivikua.
A total of 209 applications were received, including 50 from vocational training centres (VTCs) and four from the Fire-Fighting Unit of the Windhoek Municipality.
In total, 117 students were admitted to the course of whom 68 applicants are from the NDF.
The Polytechnic has been accredited by the Namibia Training Authority as a training provider for the newly approved instructor training programmes at NQF levels 4, 5 and 6.
The qualification will replace the old Polytechnic instructor-training programme, leading to certificate, higher certificate and diploma courses.
The programmes will also provide the students with learning experiences that will enable them to achieve the standards set in the curriculum for the new National Vocational Qualification.