Naomab dismisses Unam Southern Campus criticism

15 Aug 2015 15:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 15 AUG (NAMPA) – The director of the University of Namibia’s Southern Campus, Dr Erold Naomab on Thursday slammed claims that the Keetmanshoop-based campus was failing.
A letter panning operations at the campus recently appeared in an English daily newspaper.
At the opening of the campus’s second cultural festival, Naomab highlighted the achievements of the young institution in a move to silence critics.
Contrary to the claim of the anonymous newspaper writer, Naomab said the campus successfully completed 44 out of its 44 first-semester modules, while currently offering the same 100 per cent representation during the second semester.
He added that in less than two years, the campus was already presenting three of the envisaged four faculties and offering five academic qualifications, with the first cohort of students in the entrepreneurship field to graduate next year.
Naomab revealed that the pass rates of students at the Southern Campus during national examinations ranged between 96 per cent and 100 per cent.
Dismissing claims of a mass exodus of students, he stated that student retention stood at 98 per cent – or 309 out of 316 full-time students registered this year.
“In fact, we receive transfer requests from students from other campuses who want to join our vibrant and shining academic environment,” he said.
Similarly, the director said, staff retention was at 100 per cent, with other academics eager to join the institution to nurture their professional growth.
Stakeholder confidence in the institution by the broader community, including the private sector, was also very high, with the campus attracting funding of N.dollars 20 million so far, Naomab said.
Furthermore, he said, the Southern Campus was a major contributor of economic growth to the region, Keetmanshoop in particular, with 20 operational supplier contracts signed, translating into millions of dollars. The campus has also allocated a dozen tenders of more than N.dollars 20 million and has bought and upgraded a private property in excess of N.dollars 13 million to serve as a hostel for 200 students.
Preparatory work for the construction of the larger envisaged main campus will cost N.dollars 10 million to be spent this year.
Naomab was of the opinion that a particular individual pretending to be a student at the campus was intent on derailing the successes of the tertiary school.
While speaking, the students at the cultural festival could be heard voicing their agreement with Naomab’s statements.
A student representative council (SRC) member later told Nampa on the sidelines of the event that lies are being spread and that the student community stood by the Southern Campus staff and the achievements of the university.
Naomab urged anyone unhappy with operations at the campus to approach campus management, or utilise the official structures of Unam in Windhoek.
“Alternatively, if the Southern Campus or Unam management structures are not sufficient avenues for your issues, you might find the doors of //Karas Governor Lucia Basson nearer and open to your needs,” he stated.
On her part, Basson congratulated the Southern Campus, saying the realisation of the institution in the region was a dream come true for many and that it enjoyed her full support.
She offered to be a mediator and urged disgruntled individuals to knock on the door of her office, should they harbour serious concerns regarding the campus.
The cultural festival ran from Thursday until Saturday under the theme ‘Cultural identity in a global village’.