Close to 200 former Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) students in the Otjozondjupa Region gathered for a business lunch in Otjiwarongo on Thursday.
During the event, participants reflected on their past experiences with Namcol, and shared ideas on how best the college could contribute to the development of the country.
Otjiwarongo mayor Hilde Jesaya, a former Namcol student herself, was impressed to see that the college continues to grow and expand the educational horizons of many Namibians.
“As a leading out-of-school youth and adult education institution in the country, I commend you for the notable successes you have achieved since inception in 1997,” said Jesaya during the event.
The Otjiwarongo mayor, who holds a Diploma in Local Government Studies obtained through Namcol, urged the management of the college to see to it that it continues to improve the lives of school drop-outs in the country.
Jesaya also urged parents and different stakeholders to give input that will add value to the services rendered by Namcol.
Other former Namcol students are now prominent politicians and intellectuals in the Otjozondjupa Region.
These include Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu; Okahandja Constituency Councillor Steve Biko Boois; and Seth Idan, a social science teacher at the Kalenga Primary School.
However, Namcol Deputy Director for Materials and Programmes, Jan Nitschke expressed concern with the negative perception Namibian people attach to the institution and its students.
“The majority of people in this country think Namcol is an institution for failures. No, here we work hard to improve students’ results, of which some are seated here as teachers and fully-qualified professionals in their own careers,” he noted.
Nitschke then urged more male students to register with Namcol to upgrade their Grades 10 and 12 symbols so that they could continue to further their studies in professional courses offered by Namcol.
“We have more than 34 000 students registered with our college this year, but only a few are male,” he said, adding that 94.1 per cent are women.
Namcol offers diplomas in local government, certificates in business management and early childhood development, and a diploma in youth development, amongst others.
It was established as a State-supported educational institute by an Act of Parliament, Act No. 1 of 1997.
“Namcol’s mandate is to contribute towards the social and economic development of Namibia by upgrading the educational levels of adults and out-of-school youths through open learning programmes,” explained Nitschke. (Nampa)