WINDHOEK – At the University of Namibia (Unam), a group of Chinese lecturers are devoted to imparting knowledge and skills to their Namibian students.
Professor Wang Jiuliang, who has been teaching both introductory and advanced chemistry since he joined Unam’s Chemistry Department in 2009, is one of them.
“I teach about 60 students at the university. Through intensive teaching of chemistry, combined with laboratory practices, I help them shape their careers and become key industry players,” said Wang, who has over 23 years of teaching experience.
China, which has an agreement on higher education cooperation with Namibia, has been dispatching lecturers to Unam for over two decades.
The Chinese lecturers, with their rich academic experiences, come from different backgrounds and different fields of study. But they have at least one thing in common: they are all committed to empowering the students with skills and knowledge.
At the Physics Department, Dr Liu Wei, who has a career spanning over 19 years, is committed to the grooming of Namibian youths.
“The Physics Department at the university needed a teacher like me, who has both theoretical and experimental skills in physics,” said Liu, who also joined Unam in 2009.
During their tenure, the Chinese lecturers often develop strategic tactics to effectively impart knowledge to their students.
“Before I dwell on the subjects, it is important to help students recognize their potential. With ability, you can do anything. That’s how I encourage my students,” said Liu, who also supervises postgraduate students.
The lecturers’ care and commitment do not end in classrooms. “I assist students who come to me with social or psychological problems. Sometimes I share my food with them. There are also some who are shy. I arrange special and extra sessions for learning and I encourage them to study and grow comfortable with the content,” said Wang, adding it is rewarding to see students improve and prosper.
Part of the university’s mandate is to undertake basic and applied research, with a view to contributing to the social, economic, cultural and political development of Namibia. In this regard, the Chinese lecturers also have plans to make a contribution.
Liu has big plans for the Chemistry Department and his students. “I would like to establish and further advance the laboratories and develop a proper facility for students at the university,” he said.
“I’m doing research on the leaching of chalcopyrite and zinc oxide catalytic properties,” said Wang, who also facilitates and coordinates exchange opportunities between Unam and Chinese universities on behalf of his students.
In fact, many lecturers say they have grown so fond of their aspiring Namibian students that they feel a sense of attachment and belonging. “My contract is due to end next year. I will definitely renew my contract with the university because I love it at the university and the students are amazing,” said Liu. – Nampa/Xinhua
By Johanna Absalom