By Anna Shilongo
Two candidates Niikondo Andrew and Likando Gilbert were conferred doctorates at the University of Namibia graduation this year.
Receiving his doctorate of philosophy in Public Administration, 42-year-old Niikondo produced a doctoral dissertation of high standards.
Professor Andre du Pisani of the University of Namibia described Niikondo as a special student of the year.
During his research he carried out a study on regional integration in the Southern Africa Development Community, a Case study of Namibia’s cross border migration.
The study was carried out at Oshikango border area in Ohangwena region under the supervision of Professor du Pisani and Dr Volker Wintefeldt of Unam.
“We were impressed by the clarity of his analysis, the depth of his understanding, and the potential value that his results have for the theoretical development of the field,” said one of his supervisors.
Niikondo obtained his grade 12 certificate through distance education in 1992, and in 1995 he obtained a National diploma in Public Administration at the University of Namibia. In 1999 he obtained a B-Tech Degree at the Technikon of South Africa, and in 2002 he obtained a Master’s Degree at the University of the western Cape, specialising in Gender and Development.
Niikondo, who is now the Head of Department of Public Management and Deputy Dean of the school of Business and Management at the polytechnic, also served in the NDF, rising up to the rank of Major.
Meanwhile, 37-year-old Gilbert Likando obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Adult Education. Likando completed his National Higher Education Certificate at the Caprivi College of Education in 1993, making it into the list of few academic achievers in their mid-thirties.
The Impalila Island born academic attracted a huge commotion, with the roar of residents from the north-eastern region who circled the young doctor and enchanted him with the traditional “Sipelu” dance. Prompting Director of Ceremonies Edwin Tjiraamba to quip, “no one is left behind at Impalila Island, they are all here today”, making reference to the sheer masses of well-wishers and supporters who came to congratulate Likando at the front of the conference hall.
In 1997-1998 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and a post-graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Namibia.
In 2001,he obtained a first class Masters Degree at the University of Salford (UK) under the Commonwealth Scholarship Programme.
Likando who is currently a lecturer and head of department (HoD) in the Department of Education: Foundations and Management at the University of Namibia also worked in the education sector for several years.
During his research he carried out a study into the views and attitudes of adult literacy learners, adult educators and policy makers regarding the adult literacy programme in the Caprivi Region.
The study was carried out in Caprivi Region from 2004-2007 under the supervision of professor Roderick Zimba and Dr Shalyefu of the University of Namibia.
His overall purpose of the dissertation was to explore the significance of the national literacy programme in Namibia in the lives of the participants in the Caprivi Region, and develop a model on how benefits derived from adult literacy could be conceptualised.
However the dissertation presented a paradigm shift from the need to learn to the value of learning and the use of acquired skills as a measure of progress in Namibia.
The researcher is convinced that the proposed integrated model of literacy will help policy makers and literacy practitioners to conceptualise theoretical and practical issues underpinning literacy provision in Namibia and possibly other countries in Southern Africa.
Meanwhile, there were also two special students who were conferred with their degrees at the graduation ceremony. One of the two is a mute student.
Nanyeni Linekela obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, while Matsi Johannes, a visually impaired student, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree.