Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi says it is high time for the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) to show its teeth and ensure that Namibia will no longer be a safe haven for academic fraud.
Of late the proliferation of bogus institutions have robbed many students and parents of their hard-earned cash, with misleading claims that such colleges are accredited. She warned that such illegal activities should become a thing of the past.
The minister made her remarks on Friday during the handover of certificates to 14 institutions accredited by the NQA.
“It is of critical importance to standardise the quality of education and training in Namibia, and in doing that we not only ensure equal access to education, but also that no student receives sub-standard education in Namibia,” she said.
“A student studying at a so-called smaller private institution should get the exact same level of education as the one studying at the University of Namibia, or the Namibia University of Science and Technology.”
She said some bogus institutions even go to the extent of fraudulently using the NQA’s name as a way to lure students to their institutions.
“We are aware of these institutions and I would like to unreservedly empower the NQA to name and shame any person or institution that knowingly misleads our people for the sake of making profit,” she remarked.
She advised prospective students, especially the youth, to invest in their future by getting the best education they can and to acquire the skills that will serve as their passport to success and prosperity, adding that such a journey starts with studying at an accredited institution and having peace of mind, knowing that one will graduate with a quality qualification.
A booklet containing all the new accredited institutions was also launched. NQA chief executive officer Franz Gertze said they printed 50 000 booklets, which will be distributed around the time of the release of Grade 12 national examination results. Students are urged to acquire the booklet and verify the status of the institution they are interested at the time of enrolment or application.
The minister also urged the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) to acquaint themselves with the booklet and pass on the right message to fellow students.
Out of the 14 newly accredited institutions, four received first-time accreditation, seven were re-accredited and three expanded their course offerings.
The 14 institutions include Africa Hospitality and Tourism, African Leadership Institution, Business School of Excellence, Centre for Training and Projects Development, Institute of Open Learning, International University of Management, Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre, the Labour Resource and Research Institute, the National Youth Service, Triumphant College, United Lutheran Theological Centre, Valombola Vocational Training Centre and the Wolwedans Foundation Trust.