By William Mbangula Oshakati One of the major problems facing Grade 12 learners in the North with regard to furthering their studies, is the fact that they do not make any effort to seek sponsorship with much vigour and determination. Such potential students sometimes end up missing study opportunities because they lack the willpower to seek the information, or were not exposed to useful guidelines to their professional careers. This concern was expressed by the Dean of Students at the Unam Northern Campus here, Dr Adedayo Ogunmokun, in an interview with New Era. Speaking after launching the first-ever one-day career fair involving about 300 learners from 16 secondary schools in the North yesterday, Ogunmokun said many potential students do not know where to seek assistance for funding, hence this specific career fair which will expose them to possible sponsors in various fields of studies at Unam. He said: “Some of these students do not know that we can admit them even on the basis of showing us the letter of acknowledgement that funding is being sought from any institution. We can admit such a student for up to six months while arrangements for funding are being done in the meantime. It is better to secure a place while funding is being sought.” Ogunmokun explained that the main purpose for organizing a career fair is, among other things, to motivate the grade 12 learners with interactive nursing and science activities; to provide teachers with ideas for practical science experiments that can be carried out back at their respective schools; to raise awareness about courses offered at Unam with particular reference to the Northern Campus; to provide information regarding careers that can be followed after attending Unam, and to provide funding information for attending learners and for teachers to take them back to their schools. So far, 16 of the 30 invited schools have attended the fair. These are Mweshipandeka, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo and Iipumbu in Oshana Region; Oshela, Haimbili Haifiku, Ponhofi, Ongha, St Mary Odibo, Eengendjo which represented Ohangwena Region; Onesi, Shikongo Iipinge, Nuujoma, Negumbo and Okalongo from Omusati Region, and Oshikoto region represented by Uukule and Nehale secondary schools. The Northern Campus was officially opened in 1998 as a branch of the University of Namibia with the vision of engaging the institution in sharing knowledge, experience and providing a gateway to empowerment, enlightenment and critical thinking to the students, clients and staff so as to contribute fully to a sustainable livelihood and flourishing civil society. In keeping with the mandate given to it, Ogunmokun noted, the campus is currently divided into seven units, namely: the centre for external studies, faculty of medical and health sciences, the English learning unit, small business development, science foundation and the library. As part of its mission of providing development through inclusive education, life-long learning, applied research and community services of the highest standard, the campus is said to be providing such services through various means. These are by way of preparing people through educational programmes for careers and leadership in society and creating opportunities for change and transformation, pursuing excellence in research on socio-economic challenges, human development, historical and cultural issues and providing public interpretation, providing support for economic development through education and advisory services to entrepreneurs, businesses and industries. The Northern Campus is said to be growing from strength to strength since its inception nine years ago. A total of 3ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 500 students have registered this year at the centre, with close to 400 studying on a full-time basis. Records show that 145 925 people entered the library from January to December last year. Another development adding impetus to the centre is the envisaged establishment of the Faculty of Information, Technology and Engineering to be located at Ongwediva, with alternative land space at Oshakati and Ondangwa. Already the servicing of the land at Ongwediva has reached an advanced stage and, according to Ogunmokun, it may kick off with its activities next year if everything goes as planned.