By Anna Ingwafa WINDHOEK The international Round Table Pledging Conference for Namibia’s Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) arranged by the Government last week provided for some of the financial requirements of the programme. Keynote Speaker at the University of Namibia’s graduation ceremony on Friday, Vekuii Rukoro, who is also the CEO of FNB Namibia, said that the bank remained committed to education, training and funding ETSIP. The bank’s contribution will be in the region of N$1.8 million per annum while the University of Namibia will also continue to benefit from FNB Namibia’s disbursements. According to Rukoro, the aim of the Round Table Pledging Conference was to engage in frank debate on the serious problems facing the education system and to mobilize local and international funds to implement the agreed upon long-term improvement for Namibia’s education training sector. ETSIP is intended to address the current educational and training problems that slow down current progress and future development towards Vision 2030. Said Rukoro: “The national framework recognises knowledge and its application as some of the key engines for economic growth, development and social progress. Namibia therefore seeks to transform itself into a vibrant knowledge-based economy … designed, developed and constructed on four fundamental pillars:- an educated and well-trained population; a dynamic and innovative education system; an established information and communication infrastructure; as well as an economic and institutional regime that is conducive to the creation and application of knowledge to promote and advance development. The FNB CEO said Unam has a heavy responsibility in determining the future development of Namibia, adding that there are strong public views about the perceived mismatch between the skills produced by institutions of higher learning on the one hand, and the skills and expertise required by the job market on the other hand. “The general consensus seems to be that the curriculum is totally irrelevant to the real world of work. There is therefore a need for closer alignment between skills produced and those required by the labour market,” he noted. Rukoro encouraged the graduates to be proud of their academic achievements and to consider themselves to be on a national mission of great importance.
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