Katima Mulilo Unam Campus registered its lowest number of graduates in recent years, as only 45 students – both in upper and lower primary degree courses – graduated on Tuesday, compared to 64 last year when the campus graduated its first intake in the Bachelor of Education (Honours) degree course.
Although there are various factors that might have led to this low number, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Katima Mulilo Unam Campus Dr Bennett Kangumu says the main reason for the decrease is that the campus registered a lower number (only 49) students for the course four years ago.
Kangumu also pointed out that the number of graduates last year was higher, as some of the students moved from studying for a diploma and enrolled for the degree programme when it was first introduced at the regional campus in 2011.
“You cannot rule out dropouts. You cannot rule out repeating modules, but still more that might just be one or two who dropped out, or one or two who are repeating modules – which happens everywhere – but the main reason is that there was a high failure rate for Grade 12 learners in the region four years back, and as a result we did not have many students who registered in that particular year, and they are graduating now,” Kangumu explained.
This year’s graduation also saw the campus confer a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management and Ecotourism for the first time. However, from an intake of five, only three graduated, while the other two are repeating modules.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Unam Vice-Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula pointed out that for many years Unam’s Katima Mulilo Campus was known only for the production of teachers. However, he is now proud that the campus has “achieved horizontal expansion into other specialised programmes, notably in animal health, wildlife and ecotourism.”
“I’m delighted to note that although the Unam Katima Campus is focusing on the programmes that have been prescribed, such as animal health, education and wildlife and ecotourism, it is helping local communities as it combines teaching and service. This is a commendable act that makes the university relevant,” Hangula stated.
Hangula also took the opportunity to congratulate the graduates, saying: “This graduation signals the beginning of a long life of service to humanity. Go out there and serve your communities and the nation at large with humility and excellence. Implement what you have learnt.”