Instructors at the Volombola Vocational Training Centre are alleging the Competency Basic Education Training (CBET) curriculum is contributing to the high number of failure as well as prolonging the trainees’ stay at the institution unnecessarily.
With the previous curriculum, the pass rate at the institution was over 70 percent before the introduction of the CBET programme.
Briefing the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, instructors recently informed the minister that the trainees prefer the South African Based Dual Model of the National Trade Testing and Certificate Centre, as opposed to CBET.
According to the instructors, the CBET curriculum is sub-standard and is equivalent to Grade 10 admission requirements, which is affecting the trainees’ prospects to further their studies.
“The new system is not working. In fact, it is not a criteria for graduating although it appears on the qualification statement, but it is affecting the trainees’ [opportunities] to further their studies,” said one instructor.
Apart from the sub-standard curriculum, trainees are remaining at the centre longer than expected, with some having been at the centre for up to seven years now.
Instructors informed the minister that the CBET curriculum was introduced prematurely without the prescribed and relevant materials in place to advance to the next levels.
As a result, classes are temporarily suspended while the institutions wait to acquire the needed materials, which often takes up to two years.
Similarly, the instructors also claim the CBET curriculum foundation has too many gapping loopholes.
In addition, they further claim that there is too much paperwork instead of training. However, the biggest challenge is that the curriculum is not relevant in the job market.
“The curriculum does not fit the Namibian context. We need a curriculum that is based on the Namibian and South African context,” said one of the instructors at the institution.
The trainees also complained that they are required to source own funds to pay for their tuition fees once the course is prolonged because their loans only cover for three years’ training. However, instead of footing their tuition bills, many students end up dropping out because they cannot afford.
“It is as if we are just here to eat and sleep because when we are told to resume classes, sometimes we get here and there is just nothing going on,” complained one of the affected students. The minister, however, assured the students that no system or no one has the right to push them out of the system. “No system and no one should push you out of the system while you are quiet,” Kandjii-Murangi told the trainees.
She assured them that the ministry would look into their issues and address those that can be addressed in a short time.