By Anna Ingwafa
Development aid from People to People (DAPP) Vocational School held its 12th graduation last week, where more than 40 students received their certificates and diplomas in bricklaying and plastering, and business and secretarial studies.
Deputy Director: Vocational Education and Training Albertina Heita told the graduates that they are now empowered to compete in the job market for opportunities where their particular qualifications are required.
Heita said Cabinet had approved the establishment of the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to be a driving instrument in transforming vocational education and training into a dynamic component of Namibia’s pursuit for a higher standard of living through industrialization and the development of a knowledge-based economy.
“The new Act calls for the establishment of the NTA, the Board of NTA and the National Training Fund, to regulate the provision of a vocational education and training levy, to provide for the appointment of inspectors and designation of quality system auditors, and to provide for incidental matters.
“NTA has become a body to transform the vocational education and training curriculum to a competency-based training and assessment approach in a range of settings.”
She noted that the new curriculum arrangements – unit standards – which describe the outcomes demanded by the industry and community, form the basis for curriculum assessment and qualifications in the national vocational education and training system.
She pointed out that to date there are training standards developed in 40 occupations. The competency-based curriculum is modularized, thus enabling training providers to structure flexible programmes that meet trainees and industry’s needs, address the needs of the formal and non-formal sector of the economy and facilitate life-long learning.
The new vocational education training, according to Heita, incorporates modules on HIV/Aids awareness in order to mitigate the impact on HIV/Aids on the Namibian society, and on entrepreneurship thereby promoting business growth and economic development.
Those who did not make it in Grade 10 were encouraged to enroll with DAPP, while the Government subsidizes the DAPP Vocational School with N$6 000 000 this financial year. “Special funds have been made available for this particular programme. DAPP Vocational school is one of the training providers that will run the said programme.”
In an effort to assist DAPP students, the Government has made provision of study loans/grants under the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) within the Ministry of Education in the same vein as some government training institutions and some private training providers have been benefiting from the said scheme.
At the same occasion, DAPP Namibia Director Kirsten Moeller Jensen told the graduates to look at themselves not only as someone who has completed an education but as someone who has taken the first important step in the lifelong learning process.
“The world in which we live nowadays is a rapidly changing world. In order to keep up with the needs at the market place you must constantly pick up new things and be willing to learn.”
Jensen encouraged graduates to dream about themselves, their family and friends, for their country, for Africa and for the world.
“Look at the leaders of this country. They dare dream. They put together the dream in the document called Vision 2030 and the whole book describing the details and strategies for how to get there,” stressed Jensen.
She reminded them of the danger of HIV/Aids by saying that it is a fact that one in every five persons in Namibia has the virus in the blood. She encouraged people to get tested and those who are infected to live positively and those that are negative to protect themselves from getting the virus.
Jensen urged Namibians to talk more about HIV/Aids in their families and communities in order to stem its spread, and to help and support those affected without discrimination.