Arts Diplomas, Certificates Useless: Students Claim

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By Frederick Philander

WINDHOEK

An alleged controversy is raging over ‘useless’ certificates and diplomas among students at the College of the Arts, an institution, which has no accreditation with the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).

Art/Life has learned that students in four art departments at the College of the Arts are up in arms and vehemently complaining that they have initially been misled when they enrolled with the college some three years ago.

An NQA spokesperson this week has on inquiry confirmed that the College of the Arts has no accreditation whatsoever.

“A few years ago the college did submit an application to the NQA to have its art courses accredited, but the application was rejected and returned with a request to submit a more complete one. The application was never resubmitted,” said the NQA spokesperson on behalf of the director, Frans Gertze.

Art/Life has reliably learned that a number of students, who have over the past few years received ‘diplomas’ from the College of the Arts, had to start from scratch in pursuit of tertiary art education studies.

Apparently these three and four-year College of the Arts ‘diplomas’ have never been formally recognised by institutions such as the Art Department at the University of Namibia.

The alleged culprits are the: media arts technology, art product development, theatre studies and the African performing arts departments
Cota’s former Rector, Ervast Mtota, now acting Director of Arts in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, this week confirmed that during his tenure an application for accreditation had been made to the NQA.

“However, the application was never re-submitted. Why, I don’t know,” Mtota, who referred Art/Life to the head of the Media Arts Technology department, Tedd Scott, said.

Aggrieved students feel false expectations have been created in the identified courses and that they were taken for a ride after paying, in some cases, exorbitant enrolment fees of up to N$3?

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