Education Fund Strikes It Lucky

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Outapi The Pupkewitz Foundation emerged as the biggest sponsor of the Omusati Education and Training Fund (OETF) by pledging N$100 000 during the launch of the fund by former president Dr Sam Nujoma over the weekend. A provisional amount of close to N$750 000 was collected through donations and pledges. OETF Chairperson and Governor of Omusati Region Sackey Kayone explained that the fund will assist all potential Namibian learners irrespective of their origin provided they will come back to plough back their knowledge and technical know-how into the region for a certain period as per bursary contractual agreement. Omusati Regional Council contributed N$15 000 to the fund. “We want to sponsor promising learners to further their education and become specialized experts and teachers in English, mathematics, design and realization, commerce, science and information technology. This will help to improve the quality and quantity of teachers and other experts for the realization of Vision 2030,” Kayone explained. A gala fund-raising campaign spearheaded by Nujoma, the patron of the fund, kicked off immediately after his speech, assisted by Kayone and the Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba. Nujoma told the gathering that the SADC countries need at least 6000 engineers to meet all their developmental needs hence the efforts now to promote educational opportunities for potential learners in the country. “If you invest in education, you are making a life-long investment for your people, ” he noted. He urged parents to ensure that the children are sent to school since the first responsibility with regard to education and training of the children starts at home. He also urged the private sector as a stakeholder in education to join hands with the Government in order to promote the educational opportunities of young people. On the issue of some Namibian professionals who have left their country to work in Europe and elsewhere, the former Head of State blamed them for being unpatriotic. “You go there washing and touching patients from those countries while you do not want touch and serve your own people.” He said the same applies to those who after training refuse to go back to their respective villages and towns to serve their people. He advised them to go back, develop the areas themselves instead of being fence-sitters and arm-chair critics of others. Sometimes, he noted, such people complain that their areas are under-developed while they have plenty of skills and technical know-how which they do not want to use in their respective villages and towns. Before opening the floor for donations, Nujoma gave an ox, three goats and a sheep to the fund . He also bought a table for N$1 500 at the function held that evening as part of the fundraising campaign. Omusati Region which is the second in the country in terms of population density after the Khomas Region is also considered to be one of the regions with many traditional authorities in the north. At this occasion, all the traditional authorities were represented by their respective leaders, namely, Ombalantu Chief Oswin Mukulu, Uukolokadhi Chief Daniel Shooya, Chief Herman Iipumbu of Uukwambi , Ongandjera King Jafet Mukundi, Okalongo Senior Headman Mathias Walaula, and Uukwaluudhi King Josia Shikongo Taapopi. Each of the traditional leaders donated an ox except the King of Uukwaluudhi Taapopi who went an extra mile by donating N$20 000 from the mopani worms fund collected earlier this year. The occasion was graced with the presence of the King of Ondonga Immanuel Kauluma Elifas who is also the Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia. He donated N$1 000. Also in attendance were the Chief Justice Peter Shivute, the Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongwela-Amadhila who was the co-director of the event, Deputy Minister of Labour and Welfare Petrus Iilonga, Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement Isaac Katali who donated N$50 000 on behalf of Omusati Development Trust (also known as Hadhela), Prosperity International Group N$15 000,Office of the Prime Minister N$10 000, and Nantu N$5 000. Other notable contributors among many others were Kavango Regional Council N$5 000, Petrofund N$5 000, NHE N$15 000, Oshikoto Regional Council N$5 000. Other significant contributions were made in kind or by way of installments over a certain period. Asked for comment on the fundraising campaign so far, the Director of Education of the Omusati Region Lameck Kafidi said the indications are good that they may reach a significant amount. He was not sure as to how many learners will be funded per year since this will depend on the availability of resources, duration of studies and other commitments. “I wish to urge the parents to support the educational training of their children because education cannot be considered to be expensive when compared with ignorance. Just imagine being ignorant, this will be much worse than being educated at a cost,” he noted. According to Kafidi, his directorate is in charge of close to 90 000 learners of which 60 000 are in primary schools. The region has twelve senior secondary schools, 150 primary schools, 94 combined and twelve junior secondary schools.

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