By Anna Ingwafa
Namibia College of Open learning (Namcol) launched the Pre-Entry to Tertiary Education Programme (PETE) at its northern regional head office in Ongwediva on Thursday.
PETE is a partnership between Namcol and the Government –
through the Ministry of Education – to prepare a select group of Grade 12 learners who wish 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.
Director of Namcol Heroldt Murangi, in a speech delivered on his behalf by Namcol Regional Manager: Northern Region, Paavo Pea, said that 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.
The Ministry of Education has fully paid the tuition and examination fees for the initiative, and learners are only expected to pay a non-refundable registration fee of N$50.
“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, high failure and low completion rates and outputs whose competencies are not well-matched to employment needs.
“A need was therefore 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 higher education level,” explained Murangi.
He said that the programme aims to give learners the opportunity to rewrite specific Grade 12 NSSC (0) subjects and improve their competencies so that it can enable them to gain admission into tertiary institutions and be able to cope with curricula demands at tertiary level.
The programme concentrates substantially on courses most relevant to the realization of Vision 2030. These courses are English as a 2nd language, Mathematics, Biology, Physical Science and Computer Studies.
Learners are required to have a minimum E symbol in four of the subjects targeted in the initiative to be eligible for selection. They may repeat any four, three or two subjects.
Murangi mentioned that the learners enrolled for this programme should be able to register for the institutions of higher learning in 2009 if all their results are combined.
Successful learners will receive the following package of services: Namcol study materials, face-to-face tutorials of five hours per week in each subject, and an ICDL Start Certificate which includes the following modules: File Management, Microsoft Word, Excel and Internet and E-learning/Web-Based lessons, among others.
Murangi thanked the Ministry of Education for the trust in assigning the projects to Namcol.
Funds have been made available for Namcol to implement the programme.
Out of 226 applications received, 56 and 64 learners were selected for the PETE programme at Yetu Yama and Ongwediva, respectively.
Pea encouraged learners to abide with the rules and regulations of the college in order to create an atmosphere conducive for effective learning.
“I expect all of you to give due respect to the head of the centre, the tutors, fellow learners and the staff and their officers. There will be consequences for misbehavior. The college will not allow anyone of you to disturb those who want to learn,” he warned.