Ongwediva – Simeon Haihambo, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for education, pioneer movement and culture, is encouraging learners who could not secure places in Grade 11 and tertiary institutions to enrol at various vocational centres across the country.
He said shying away from vocational skills could hinder the country’s development goals, citing that voctaional training centres have the capacity to equip trainees to transform the country to become highly industrialised, as envisaged by government.
“The vocational centres are a good platform to acquire skills and create self-employment and equally employ other unemployed youths. This we can only achieve if change the mindset that says vocational centres are for struggling learners, as is perceived,” Haihambo remarked.
He also advised learners to refrain from prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse while at these centres.
Haihambo made the remarks during an interview with New Era on Wednesday, in which he commended government for providing free primary and secondary education.
He also appealed to government to look into subsiding Namcol learners.
“Now that school is free, maybe there is also a need to subsidise those who want to improve their results, because they are not used to paying school fees,” he said.
The SPYL secretary for education also encouraged learners to strive for academic success this year.
He said vulnerable learners and those from poor backgrounds should not use their social standing and circumstances as a reason not to excell at school.
“Government has made provision for free primary and secondary education. I’m aware there are challenges that learners face, but you have been accorded an opportunity. My call to you is to utilise it,” Haihambo advised and further called for commitment and discipline.
Haihambo – who has been in office for a year now – said they will continue to work with the regional officers to motivate learners.
He said his office has been giving motivational talks at schools in Omusati and Ohangwena regions and he is optimistic they will enhance the campaign and reach more schools this year with programmes aimed at encouraging and motivating learners at regional level.