UNAM Staff and Students Get Warning

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Despite a number of outstanding international academic and scholastic awards and achievements received last year the management of the University of Namibia has seriously warned staff and students against unethical behaviour. This warning was sounded on Monday in a speech by the Vice-Chancellor of UNAM, Professor Lazarus Hangula at the official start of the academic year for 9 000 students registered on all four campuses of the institution of tertiary education. “This year the Human Resource Department is on strict orders to act against anybody who engages in unethical behaviour, be it a student or a lecturer neglecting their duties. Staff members are expected to do their work diligently. From now on disciplinary action will be taken against anybody not honouring responsibilities. If a staff member parks his/her car on campus and exits with another vehicle to do consultancy work elsewhere, we shall act. Because this is the year of work ethics renewal,” Professor Hangula threatened. The management will also act against those staff members who permanently attend receptions, and play golf and attend sport commission meetings but neglect their duties. “Students refusing to honour their financial agreements and obligations towards the university will also be acted against for not honouring their commitments. Instead, they wait until November and start threatening management with illegal strikes. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Social contract requires that everyone honours his/her commitment and the management is firm on this – now, at the end of the year and beyond,” Professor Hangula warned. He also issued a stern warning to the dominant student audience that laziness and non-studying are something of the past. “If you do not aspire to become professors, lecturers or scientists, at least study so that you are employable. For if you graduate with poor marks no company or state department will employ you. If you are not serious with your education you are training for the street. Companies do not want to recruit mediocre students, but the best, who will take their business forward. Also avoid HIV/AIDS,” he said. On a more positive note, Professor Hangula praised dedicated lecturers and students for enabling through studies and hard work that UNAM is slowly asserting itself as one of the most respected universities in Africa and in the world. He cited the following award achievements of the Namibian tertiary institution: the Carl Faberge Award for education, the Gold Medal for Excellence in Business Practice, a nomination for International Educator for the year from a centre in Cambridge and a Golden Arrow Award prize from Professional Management Review Africa LTD. “UNAM has over the past fourteen years undoubtedly not only made a name for itself, but also made some impact in the academic world. Through sacrifice and hard work our colleagues have indelibly put our young university on the world map through teaching, research and publication. Let us not slip backwards but forge ahead and excel,” the Vice-Chancellor said. The chairperson of the UNAM Council, Professor Filemon Amaambo, in his speech reminded the staff about the fact that the institution is expected to provide services and to usher the country in development with limited resources. “The University of Namibia accords everyone an ideal environment to truly experience the diversity of our nation. It is a true melting pot. We have to use the cultural diversity to our own benefit and to also benefit our National Policy of Reconciliation,” Professor Amaambo, who urged students to open their minds and interact with one another, said. “Instead of staying with students of your village or town, students that speak ‘your language’, students that were with you at high school, form new bonds, new interests, liaise with different students and welcome international students into ‘your worlds’,” the professor advised for better interrelationships, which in many cases border on ethnic trends on the campus.