Windhoek – In the previous financial year altogether 24,937 trainees were enrolled for vocational education and training (VET) programmes at both public and private training institutions, countrywide.
The Higher Education Minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi said this figure now stands at 27,132, which exceeds the enrolment target as articulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
The desired outcome with respect to vocational education and training during the Harambee period will be to increase the number of qualified VET trainers from 15,000 in 2015 to 25,000 by 2020.
The minister noted that a comprehensive Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Transformation and Expansion Strategy has been developed with a 15-year implementation timeline. This, she explained, includes the expansion of infrastructure or facilities at existing vocational training centres (VTCs),
establishing a footprint of public VTCs in all 14 regions and improving quality of training (through up-skilled and qualified trainers, fit-for-purpose tools and equipment and industry response programme offerings).
She added that implementation of this initiative commenced at the beginning of 2017.
It is anticipated that the number of trainees in the TVET system will increase from the current level of 25,000 to well over 100,000 at full implementation by 2031/32.
“TVET is considered to be one of the key drivers of industrialisation, and an effective tool for imparting employability skills to the youth. TVET is an important engine for job creation and self-employment,” she said.
Key projects to be embarked upon include further expansion of the Okakarara VTC (Otjozondjupa), Nakayale VTC (Omusati) and Valombola VTC (Oshana); construction of the Omuthiya VTC (Oshikoto); and the construction of Keetmanshoop VTC (//Kharas).
She said a total of 600 trainers from public vocational training centres, public enterprises and private training institutions attended short further and upskilling training locally and in countries such as Germany, Spain and India, as part of a comprehensive capacity-building programme.
She said promoting and leveraging TVET career paths and fighting the societal perception under which TVET career options are stereotyped as low status, with limited potential for career growth, will remain a priority for the considerable future.
She said the year under review saw the conclusion of a very successful national advocacy campaign, under which 24 TVET graduates were profiled as ‘ambassadors’ or ‘champions’ of the TVET sector.
She said weekly television programmes and print content advertorials were broadcast on NBC television and published in the New Era newspaper, respectively.
Furthermore, she said the same content was also shared on a variety of social media platforms, adding that very soon campaign material will be distributed to primary and secondary schools across the country to ensure learners can access this information. On the international front, Namibia sent a team of seven competitors to partake in the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from October 14 to 17, 2017.
Therefore, she said, preparations are already underway for the staging of the second National Skills Competition in September 2018, at which competitors are to be selected to represent Namibia at the 2019 WorldSkills Competition, in Kazan, Russia.