By Petronella Sibeene
The Executive Director of Women’s Action for Development (WAD) has launched an urgent appeal to the Office of the Prime Minister and the University of Namibia to investigate alleged practices of prostitution at Unam.
Early this month, media reports revealed that some students from the University of Namibia particularly women have entered the commercial sex trade, apparently to source funds to pay for their studies and hostel fees while others want to buy miscellaneous items.
Some students apparently go to the university with a callous attitude of wasting time partying, spending unnecessarily on luxury goods just to keep up appearances, and engage in alcohol abuse.
This is happening regardless of whether parents are struggling and desperately looking forward to their children graduating to find jobs in the labour market and augment the income of their households, Veronica de Klerk said.
She said these allegations are serious since the taxpayer’s money is involved and the alleged situation has potential to tarnish the image of tertiary educational institutions and the country at large.
“The challenges ahead of our youths are simply too compelling to crush these concerns aside,” she added.
University of Namibia’s Communications Officer, Utaara Hoveka, said the institution was not aware of such practices. He added that it is difficult to tell if people who visit students or pick them up from hostels are their customers or innocent relatives.
De Klerk further appealed to the business sector to start playing a formidable role in especially awarding bursaries to destitute students.
The sector could further contribute towards employing students as apprentices depending on the field of study.
De Klerk urged the youths especially those studying at the university to set their priorities right and define their role in society.
“I wish to call on the young people and the leaders of the future to seriously consider your great responsibility in society. Young people are called upon today to stand out, rather than blend in,” she added.
She said young people should strive to find direction in life.
“Decide on your priorities and stand by it even though you may lose your most treasured friends in the process,” she said.
She added that being a leader often puts one on a lonely path on which only principles guide.
De Klerk says although young people are always considered future leaders, those tasked with the responsibility of imparting knowledge to young people have failed to do so.
She said the older generation in Namibia is not doing enough to fast track the process of focused preparation of the youth for the formidable tasks that lie ahead.
Although learners source their knowledge from books and lessons in class, there is so much knowledge about life and the world that needs interpretation and the view-points of elders.
De Klerk urged educationalists to be proactive in recording wisdom for the youth to access the records in future.
“The youth will not always be so fortunate to have their leaders and elders among them, they should take time out to snatch up whatever they can learn from their leaders and knowledgeable people before it is too late,” she advised.
The youths should demonstrate an insatiable hunger for knowledge, she added.