Namcol Miscalculates Students’ English Needs

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By Anna Ingwafa

OSHAKATI

All Namibia College of Open learning (Namcol) centres in Omusati Region have stopped registering learners who want to write English and Agriculture at the end of the year because learning material for these subjects have run out.

Namcol Regional Manager for the northern regions Paavo Pea told New Era last week that the learning material ran out due to the college’s initial low projections.

Namcol every year makes a projection for their learning material based on the previous year’s student enrolment in each subject.

The college projected for 2 962 students compared to last year’s enrollment which was 2 922 for English. But now barely two weeks later, the whole of Omusati has no learning material for the subject available at the different centers.

Pea said the difficulty they encountered with over-projection stemmed from the ministry’s syllabus changes and the material become obsolete.

Pea alluded to the fact that Namcol is operating on a government subsidy and if there is no increase in the budget, then there is nothing that the college can do. “At the moment, the budget that we have does not allow us to re-print the material.”

According to Pea, when one region runs out of material for a certain subject, other regions can supply leftovers. However, the regional manager cannot promise learners that there will be material left.

He encouraged learners to go to Namcol centres to have their names taken down, in case leftover material is received from other ccntres.

He is expected to communicate this problem to his colleagues in other regions in order to find out whether there are some extra material.

Learners at David Sheehama that New Era spoke to said they have been going to all secondary schools in the regions to try and register for English but to no avail.

The problem with the English subject is that higher institutions only settle for symbol E and better but most of the learners obtained F and lower.

The unavailability of English as a subject in this region at the moment means that the learners have to wait for next year if there is surplus material from other regions.

Namcol is a parastatal educational institution created by an act of Parliament (Act 1 of 1997) which provides learning opportunities for adults and out-of-school youths.

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