30 Sep 2013 06:50
WINDHOEK, 30 SEP (NAMPA) A total of 348 Namibian College of Opening Learning (Namcol) students graduated from seven professional programmes here on Friday.
The students graduated from the Certificate in Education for Development; Certificate in Local Government Studies; Certificate in Business Management; Certificate in Community-based Work with Children and Youth; Certificate in Early Childhood Development; Diploma in Youth Development; and Diploma in Education for Development programmes.
Speaking during the institutions 12th graduation ceremony, Namcol Director Heroldt Murangi said Namcol has the capacity to partner with Government to address key national challenges such as slow economic development, unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Murangi indicated that students who received the Certificate in Education for Development were mostly drawn from the pool of grassroots community development practitioners such as district literacy organisers, literacy promoters, agricultural workers, health educators and project managers.
He said the study programme has empowered the students with practical skills and competencies to increase their effectiveness as community workers, particularly with regard to the design, implementation and evaluation of community development projects.
These practical skills will stand them in good stead when they assume responsibilities as adult education practitioners at community level, he said.
They also received training in community development with regard to understanding the relationship between education, training and development; and competencies in research and skills in establishing and sustaining community development.
Murangi indicated that the Certificate in Education for Development, which was recently upgraded to diploma level, represents the first in a series of professional courses on offer by Namcol.
Students who graduated from the Certificate in Local Government Studies programme were mostly drawn from officials working in local government offices and municipalities to receive tailor-made academic intervention which enabled them to understand the decentralisation and democratisation process, and to provide effective support for capacity-building projects initiated in the regions and in the local context.
He added that these graduates can now enrol for a Diploma in Local Government Studies with the University of Namibia (Unam)s Department of Political and Administrative Studies, provided they meet the minimum entry requirements.
Murangi furthermore said the Certificate in Business Management students were drawn from the local small and medium enterprise corps and Grade 12 school-leavers, and have been provided with appropriate business knowledge and skills.
Students who studied Community-based Work with Children and Youth were drawn from volunteers and practitioners working in the care and support of children, youth and communities, and they were empowered with skills to care for those who face physical, emotional and economic skills in the society.
The Namcol Director went on to say that Government continues to raise concern about the mismatch between investment in education and output from education.
Namcol will always play an active role in bridging this divide between massive investment in education and minimal outflows from that investment, he stressed.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme The Significance of Strategic Partnerships in the Provision of Quality Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programmes.
Murangi said the theme was chosen in recognition of the importance of creating synergy in ODL.
The director urged all graduates to outgrow conventional thinking in community development.
Remember that the golden rule in community development work is ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development). Plan with the communities and not for the communities, he stressed.