By Anna Ingwafa
Trainees of Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVCT) have been boycotting classes since Monday on grounds that the Competency Basic Education Training (CBET) system is not up to standard.
They say the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) system adopted by the centre is not up to the required standard to offer the training up to the last levels of studying.
The trades that are affected by CBET are bricklaying and plastering, auto mechanics, office administration and the hospitality course.
The students claim that those who are doing bricklaying and plastering level three have been at the centre without writing examinations that were supposed to be written last year because the new system does not have level four in its curriculum.
The students want to know whether they are going to do level four as per their school calendar. “If not, when are we going to do our fourth level? If there is no level four then they should give us the opportunity to go back to the Namibia National Testing Centre (NTTC) system,” students appealed.
VVTC Principal, Titus Malangu, confirmed to New Era yesterday that the new NTA system is problematic. “Some trades like motor mechanics are not offered in this new system and we already have students who did it up to third level. We made a suggestion to the ministry so that we should revert to the old system,” said Malangu.
Malangu added that the Ministry of Education would send officials from the head office in Windhoek on Tuesday to discuss the issues with students.
CBET was initially designed as a pilot project by the NTA. Only Zambezi Vocational Training Centre at Katima Mulilo ran the system first to assess and test its suitability for vocational education training in the country.
Recent media reports indicated that the NTA admitted that there are problems regarding the adaptation of the CBET system. NTA says the blame should be put squarely on the shoulders of management who introduced the system without it receiving accreditation first.
“The centre’s management went ahead and implemented CBET without following the proper criteria which the NTA feels was not properly followed.
“Zambezi Vocational Training Centre was to be the only centre to pilot the new CBET system but other centres opted to follow suit without looking at the capacity of the centre, even though they didn’t have the full capacity,” NTA’s Lawrence Pringle was quoted as saying.
Sixty-six curriculum modules, 66 unit standard and 22 training manuals for levels 1 to 3 were completed based on the CBET, which was developed for apprenticeship training and institutional trainees as well as private candidates.
The NTA facilitates curricula, unit standards and training manuals for both instructors and trainees for different trades such as auto mechanics, bricklaying and plastering, boiler making, tour guides and hospitality.
The VVTC trainees handed over the petition of their grievances to the Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa who promised to take it to the relevant authorities.