By The Villager Newspaper
The International University of Management had its 11th graduation ceremony at the Safari Court Hotel on Friday 25 September.
The Academic Procession and National, AU and IUM Athems signaled the start of the graduation ceremony. Chancellor Bishop Espiscopus Emeritus Dr. Kleopas Dumeni opened the event with a scripture reading and prayer.
A Solidarity Message was given by Hon. Serge Blaise Zoniaba, Minister of Technical, Professional Education, Vocational Training and Employment, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. He referred to the graduates as, “Creators of national and continental worth in both the public and private sector.”
He encouraged the graduates to be ambitious and honest as they embrace discovery in the future. Education allows people to escape the darkness of ignorance and to fight extreme poverty. With that, he also acknowledged the importance of upgrading the academic relationship between the Republic of Congo and Namibia.
Next, the Vice Chancellor of IUM Mrs. Virginia W. Namwandi took the stage. With two thumbs up, she congratulated the graduating class and told them how proud she was of their accomplishments.
After thanking those distinguished guests in attendance, she turned her attention to the Prime Minister, whom she said is a representation that, “It is possible, man or woman. If you walk the path you will get there.”
The Vice Chancellor acknowledged the milestones that IUM reached this year. The amount of students enrolled jumped from 6,500 in 2014 to 8,500 in 2015. There was also an increase of 60 full-time staff members apart of IUM. Highlights from the year included an academic publication, the construction of new buildings, expansion of campuses, the introduction of online learning system Blackboard, the addition of new buses to the University’s campus and an award-winning staff.
“The true nature and history of IUM is that it is ready to face challenges and overcome those challenges in order to generate the expected results of its vision,” Namwandi said. She noted that the University is looking towards furthering growth and expansion over the next decade.
Namwandi cited the problems that Namibia faces, including unemployment, poverty, and industrialization. Namwandi reassured the graduating IUM students that they have the power to change and transform the country and to challenge the ‘status quo.’ With diplomas in their pockets, she empowered the graduates saying, “You [the graduates] have a moral obligation to impact your communities positively.”
Following Namwandi’s remarks, Bishop Episcopus Emeritus Dr. Kleopas Dumeni stood to address the graduates. Although the IUM graduates are leaving the academic world and are soon to enter the working world, he stressed that education continues beyond University; “Be reminded that your education continues”
Dr. David R. Namwandi, IUM’s founder and current chairperson, shared a few words about the graduating students. He stressed that the graduates have the, “Weapons to go and create jobs and worth for this nation.”
He then went on to introduce Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, and emphasized her gracious humility as a leader.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila congratulated the students and began her address saying, “Uncertainty in life is scary but brimming with possibility.” She continued by emphasizing that the graduates have obtained the knowledge and skills that are stepping stones towards their future occupations.
Noting the importance of education, the Hon. Prime Minister mentioned that, “Education sows seeds of transformation.” She encouraged the graduates to utilize their degrees and to, “Build bridges across countries and nations” and reassured them that setbacks, mistakes, and sacrifices will happen in the future, but it is what is learned from these that is important.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed the need for education to become more accessible to people throughout the country. By focusing on improving internal education, she says that it would benefit Namibia’s, “Interpersonal harmony, peace and political stability”
Following her address, the graduates were given their diplomas. Merit Awards were then given to certain students, followed by remarks by the Chief Graduate.
1,162 students received diplomas at the graduation, and these young academics will enter the Namibia’s working world well-equipped with knowledge and with a passion to make a change in the nation and beyond.