UNAM develops NQF programme for unqualified teachers

27 Feb 2016 18:42pm
WINDHOEK, 27 FEB (NAMPA) – The University of Namibia (UNAM) has developed a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level Six in-service diploma programme for unqualified and under qualified teachers.
UNAM Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Osmund Mwandemele said at a media conference in the capital Friday the programme will follow a blended approach that combines occasional face-to-face sessions, distance learning, self-study and online learning.
“The programme will be subjected to the normal university quality assurance processes to ensure that the graduating teachers meet the quality expectations of UNAM and the nation,” he said.
Assessment will combine traditional forms such as tests and examinations, together with innovative and modern approaches such as portfolios and self-reflections.
He added that a student support system comprising of campus and site-based tutors, study groups and a virtual discussion forum will be put in place to ensure that participating teachers are supported throughout their studies.
Mwandemele explained that due to its nature, the programme is intended to run for four years per each cohort, through which participating teachers will be given the opportunity to connect theory with practice, as they will have ample opportunities to relate their studies in the theories of education to their own classroom practice.
“In this way, learning will be more relevant and meaningful in that they will be able to practice what they are learning on a daily basis in their classrooms.”
An intake of 1 000 teachers is planned per year from the 4 208 unqualified and under qualified in the country.
In order to expedite the process, UNAM has put in place a timeline, starting with applications being sent out to the regional education offices during the week of 29 February 2016. The admission process should be completed around the 15th April 2016, after which candidates will then be directed to the regional campuses to register on 09 May 2016 at the start of the vacation school.
Speaking at the media briefing, the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said more intakes are considered across the regions.
She said her ministry requires teachers who are well prepared in order to support learners to acquire knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in the national curriculum.
“From our perspectives, a major goal for any professional programme is to help student teachers see themselves as professionals, who are both committed and proud of the teaching profession.
“We believe that teachers have to be prepared in order to support learners to acquire the 21st century skills,” she stressed.
The teacher education programme should empower the practicing teachers to be able to teach the learners those skills, values and attitudes, said Hanse-Himarwa.