By Frederick Philander
The launch of a Pre-Entry to Tertiary Education Programme on Tuesday at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) had been described as a milestone for the institution.
A number of senior officials in the Ministry of Education attended the launch at which the director of Namco, Heroldt Murangi, was the keynote speaker.
“We have always believed that Namcol occupies a strategic position in the society to assist in making a critical contribution to the national development agenda.
“This programme, in short PETE, is one such initiative which uses Namcol as a vehicle to make a sustained contribution to realizing Vision 2030,” Murangi said.
In his opinion the programme demonstrates a smart partnership between Namcol and the Government.
“This programme is aimed at preparing a select group of Grade 12 learners wishing to improve their grades in order to gain entry to the University of Namibia and the Polytechnic of Namibia, as well as other tertiary institutions in Namibia and beyond,” he explained.
The pre-entry programme is an initiative of the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and is fully sponsored by the ministry.
Through this initiative, tuition and examinations fees are fully paid by the ministry and learners are only expected to pay a non-refundable registration fee of N$50,” Murangi said.
According to him, the launch of PETE is motivated by the growing realization that science and technology related programmes in institutions of higher learning indicate low admissions in relation to gender and least advantaged groups.
“It also indicates high failure rates, low completion rates and outputs whose competencies are not well-matched to employment needs.
“A need was identified to introduce this programme to address this mismatch and to bridge the gap between exit skills at secondary level and the required entry skills at a tertiary education level,” he said.
In addition, the programme aims to give learners the opportunity to rewrite specific Grade 12 [NSSC (O)] subjects and improve their competencies to levels that will enable them to gain admission into tertiary institutions and to be able to cope with curricula demands at tertiary level.
“Learners should have a minimum E symbol in four of the subjects targeted in this initiative to be eligible for selection.
They may repeat any four, three or two subjects through this arrangement.
I must however mention that learners enrolled for this programme should be able to register for the institutions of higher learning in 2009 if all their results are combined,” he asserted.
Out of the 226 applications already received, 56 and 64 learners were selected for the PETE programme at Yetu Yama and Ongwediva, respectively.
“I believe that we will be able to make this new initiative a success, if all stakeholders show the commitment. It is for this purpose that funds have been made available for Namcol to implement this programme successfully. As an institution, we are committed to deliver this programme to the best of our ability,” he concluded.