Unam rubbishes dysfunctional claims

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Keetmanshoop

The management of the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Southern Campus has dismissed claims that the campus is dysfunctional.

“We will not be held back by mediocre reports that don’t hold any substance,” said Dr Erold Naomab the coordinating director of the Unam Southern Campus in an interview with New Era.

He was responding to claims that the administration at the campus is dysfunctional as alleged by students in a New Era report published last Wednesday. Naomab refuted all claims in the article, saying the claims are baseless, personal and only aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of the new campus.

The letter of complaint, entitled ‘Unam Southern Campus a dismal failure’, written by a concerned student who claimed that classrooms lack sufficient seats to accommodate students, that some students have intimate relationships with lecturers and that the campus lacks competent staff members, among a raft of other allegations.

Naomab took this reporter around the Southern Campus to get a first-hand look at what takes place in the classrooms. Moving from one lecture hall to another, he showed how each room is equipped with multimedia equipment, such as computers, projectors and flat screen TVs in some rooms that take large numbers of students.

“If you tell me this is inadequate, then I don’t know what adequate is,” he said adding the campus has what is necessary for learning to take place and that is what matters most. He said the campus should not be judged on its infrastructure and operational issues, but rather on whether the actual teaching and learning takes place, adding that the campus has an excellent record in terms of performance. In some modules students outperform their peers on other campuses and no one can take that away, he said.

“The performance of the learners is what is important. We would be concerned if our campus was lagging behind,” Naomab said. He further claimed that at the end of the day if their performance is measured against key performance areas and compared with other campuses it could outperform any campus in the country.

Regarding intimate student-lecturer relationships, Naomab laughed off the claims, indicating he has never received a complaint or report of that kind, neither has the Student Representative Council (SRC) received any such complaint from any student.

He questioned whether the author of the letter is indeed a student at the campus, saying students at his campus have a credible voice in the SRC and wouldn’t run to the media.

Naomab is convinced the campus is doing wonders with limited resources and will continue to do so, irrespective of speculative allegations, noting that such claims do not probe the values and principles of the campus.

Campus SRC vice-president Hivirikee Kaurivi also disputed the claims of incompetence and maladministration, saying he is not aware of anything of that sort and that no student has complained to them about anything of this nature.

“We haven’t received any complaint of that kind,” he said on the lecturer-student relationship claims. Students and the broader public who commented on the story on New Era’s Facebook page had nothing but praise for the campus, as they condemned some students for being ungrateful liars, who are cooking up stories.

“A man who spends sleepless nights thinking of ideas on how to improve the campus is sadly reading this, because we students are ungrateful,” read one of the comments.

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