The Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) has forked out over N$500 000 in tuition and subsistence and travel allowance (S&T) for a senior Airworthiness Inspector, Daniel Matengu, to complete a post-graduate course in the United Kingdom on a full-time basis although the course can be accessed at part time on a cheaper rate.
Ironically, Matengu is also approaching his retirement age and will soon be vacating his position.
The controversy comes after Ministry of Works and Transport officials were accused of abusing salary and travel allowances and overtime for their own benefit.
As if that is not enough, Matengu, who has served the ministry for close to 30 years and is arguably the most experienced in the Directorate of Civil Aviation, is also left with less than three years in civil service before he reaches retirement age.
Documentation at hand proves that Matengu was paid in full by the Government on recommendations of the Director of Civil Aviation, Angeline Simana Paulo, and approved by the Permanent Secretary, Peter Mwatile, to enrol for the course for the full year although the bulk of it will be done at a part time with reduced cost.
The Air Safety Management Masters Degree that Matengu will be pursuing will also give him access to study-time in Asia and is also offered in Frankfurt, Germany. It also means that people who qualify for it should be professionals practising in maintenance, support and regulatory part aviation industry.
Further details to the course also show that it is essential in improving safety control for the countries. Although Government have the belief that the course will take a full year of studying on a full-time basis specification of the course from the issuing university also show that the course is based on completing nine modules which are taught over a three-day period each week.
The full course to be attended by Matengu focuses of three core modules which are active safety management, crisis management and safety risk management while there are a number of elective modules including safety management tools, airline operation regulatory compliance, human resource management, airline operations, psychology in aviation management, airports and ground handling, air accident investigation among others.
Meanwhile, the Director of Civil Aviation Angeline Simana Paulo confirmed that the ministry accorded Matengu the opportunity to take up the course because he deserves it and he is arguably one of the most experienced personnel they have.
“This is a man who has served the ministry for more than thirty years and I do not think it is fair to scandalise him. This course can be done at a part-time, yes, but there are options that it can be done on a full time basis. He is an old person not like you and me who have managed to go from high school to the highest level of qualification. As much as he is old, I think you have seen that the civil service and even the office of the Prime Minister has people that are over 60 and are still serving. He also deserves such a chance. I think the issue that we should be looking at is his education will bring a lot benefits to the country and also the department,’’ she said.
Simana Paulo argues that Government also ought to give the Matengu back for his service and the only way the government can pay him back
The Villager also made an attempt to talk to Matengu but could not reach him as he has since left the country to commence with is studies.