The government aims to take training and educational opportunities closer to the people and it is up to the Namibian youth to prepare themselves for these opportunities.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with the regional and local councillors of the //Karas region at Keetmanshoop on Monday, the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi indicated her ministry is hard at work to see to it training opportunities are available in all 14 regions.
She stated government is set to take training and educational opportunities for skills development and knowledge creation closer to the people, to arm Namibians with the right tools for employment, but she indicated it is up to the people to make use of these opportunities.
Focusing on the youth, she stressed the need for the young people to be prepared to take advantage of the soon to be expanded access to tertiary education, adding that with the right skills, knowledge and attitude, the battle against poverty can be won.
“The youth should position themselves to acquire requisite skills and strive to become productive and self-employed in their regions,” she stated.
Kandji-Murangi says technical and vocational education and training not only enables the graduates to be financially independent, but their skills are very important in accelerating sustainable development, stating that such graduates have proven to be the main drivers of the world’s best economies.
She further explained that due to the importance the government places on skills training, her ministry through Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) will among other things expand or establish TVET institutions with production hubs, train the many unqualified and underqualified instructors and increase the enrolment with the aim of producing 25 000 graduates by 2020.
She however acknowledged tmuch is yet to be done if the vocational training centres country wide are to become one of the best, stating ‘we must make sure our graduates are employable and able to set up their own businesses.
She expressed concern on the lack of practical skills the trainees are exposed to at some institutions, indicating that the trainees are supposed to get 60 percent practical exposure and 40 percent theory, but she said this is not the case currently as some graduate without any practical skills.
This, she, said needs to change and called on institutions to liaise with companies and find job attachments for the trainees to ensure that they are fully polished when they leave.
Moreover Kandji-Murangi called on the public to have a paradigm shift, indicating that people are not comfortable sending their children to vocational schools as they have a negative perception about these institutions.
This is the minister’s second visit to the region and she engaged the public at a separate event and toured the facilities of Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT).