Windhoek-Okakarara Vocational Training Centre (OVTC) will this weekend celebrate 40 years of providing cutting-edge technical and vocational education and training services.
The first day of the celebration on Friday will be packed entertainment, a braai and jumping castle for children, with seven-a-side soccer games and live music entertainment by Big Ben, One Blood, Ethnix and Vindina.
OVTC trainees from 1977 until 2015 will also form teams to partake in the fun. The Saturday morning anniversary programme starts at 08h00 in the morning with the minister of higher Education, training and innovation delivering the keynote address, as well as inaugurating the girls’ hostel block.
On Saturday evening the OVTC hosts a gala dinner with the programme starting at 17h30. Tickets are N$500 per person, with a table seating ten people going for N$5,000.
Invitations have been sent to various companies, graduates of the OVTC from 1977 until 2015, and Namibians from all walks of life are invited to go and join in what promises to be a memorable occasion.
The centre was officially opened in January 1977 as Okakarara Technical Institute, or Okakarara Tegniese Instituut by Jan Malan. It started off with 21 trainees and offered only two trades, carpentry and bricklaying, including technical drawing.
In 1979, two more trades, welding and motor mechanics were introduced. Under the able and dedicated leadership of the institute, more trades were added to the list in 1984. These include plumbing and pipefitting, electrical general, hairdressing, tailoring, hospitality and tourism, and office administration.
That same yearthe centre was renamed the Okakarara Vocational Training Centre (OVTC).
Over the years, OVTC has aspired to become a centre of excellence by producing a number of young Namibians, who have thus far graduated as competent youth able to take up employment in their respective trades and qualifications with ease.
The number of graduates from OVTC number more than 12,000 at the moment, with 80% of these employed in various industries, and 20% self-employed. The centre today boasts an intake of close to 1,100 trainees up from previous intakes, which have been growing because of the positive and close relationship it has maintained with residents of the town and surrounding communities.
OVTC has a staff compliment of 71 members, 30 trainers and 37 administrative staff. The pass rate at the centre is currently at 70%. Ten trades are offered at the centre, all accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).