By Staff Reporter
Ten first-year Namibian students from disadvantaged communities will be able to pursue their tertiary education, thanks to bursaries from Telecom Namibia.
The learners were identified by the Telecom Namibia Bursary Fund Committee for funding after their sterling performance in last year’s senior certificate examinations.
Oiva Angula, Telecom Namibia’s Senior Manager: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, said the beneficiaries are from families that have a very small income base.
“Until today, they had no hope of furthering their studies as they are from previously disadvantaged communities across the country,” he said. The bursary covers tuition fees, books, travelling and monthly allowances, meals and accommodation for the duration of their studies.
In line with Telecom Namibia’s guidelines for the bursaries, three of the candidates are females and all ten will either study BSc Electrical, BTech Electrical Engineering or BTech Information Technology at institutions of higher learning in Namibia and South Africa this year.
Telecom Managing Director Frans Ndoroma said his institution believes that the best way to respond to many of the telecommunications challenges facing Namibia today is through strengthening the talent pool.
Telecom Namibia already invests highly in the education sector to provide technically skilled personnel.
The bursaries amount to N$620 000 a year, translating into N$2.9 million over the next four years.
In addition, 72 Telecom Namibia employees have been identified to attend upgrading programmes at the Polytechnic of Namibia, while 56 employees were granted loans to study in fields relevant to Telecom Namibia’s operations, which will cost the company N$4.5 million and N$1.34 million respectively.
During the 2006/7 period, Telecom spent N$12.7 million in developing the skills and competencies of its employees.
Ndoroma said skills development is a strategic and business imperative “as all categories of staff play a central role in the delivery of telecommunication services and are the most critical factors in ensuring our success”.
He encouraged the bursary holders to work hard and not fall into the common trap of returning from the institutions without qualifications.