Higher Education Ministry to review major policies

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Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-The country’s Vocational Training Policy, which dates back to 2005, is set to undergo review, with Higher Education Minister Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi noting that some of the policies “have become outdated and overtaken by events”.

The Vocational Education and Training Educator Policy is designed to equip the Vocational Education and Training profession with qualified, competent and dedicated professionals or practitioners who possess the required knowledge, standards and competencies to deliver quality training.

The policy provides a framework for not only improving the quality of vocational education and training educators in Namibia in terms of knowledge, standards and competencies, but to also guide the employers of vocational education and training educators on the very important aspects that underpin the training profession, such as continuing professional development, learning communities and work-integrated learning. Developed on the basis of the National Framework for Educators in Namibia, the Vocational Education and Training Educator Policy aims to provide for the professionalisation and enhancement of the status of educators.

It also aims to provide for the education and training of educators through various pathways, from initial pre-service training to continuing professional development; and ensure that the educators engage in the creation of learning communities.

Kandjii-Murangi said the ministry would also review theResearch, Science and Technology Policy of 1999 and develop recognition of prior learning policy.

Meanwhile a Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2021 has been developed on the basis of outcomes of the situational analysis. The Strategic Plan provides direction and strategic choices to the higher education, training and innovation sub-sectors over the next five years, in line with Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

Key strategic goals of the plans include a better alignment and articulation of tertiary education levels and expanding access to tertiary education to minimise the plight of Grade 10 and 12 school-leavers.

It also aims to consolidate the tertiary vocational education instructors’ unit at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) into a fully-fledged faculty of tertiary vocational education for quality pre-and in-service instructors.

Moreover, the strategy aims to review laws related to public enterprises under the ministry to reduce duplication and improve the governance of tertiary institutions.

She announced that in the next five years, the ministry – under the higher education pillar – aims to establish and maintain quality responsive tertiary education that ensures equitable access and funding to meet the demands of making Namibia a knowledge-based economy.

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