Influx of English Access Course students at UNAM

19 Jan 2017 10:40am
OSHAKATI, 18 JAN (NAMPA) – The University of Namibia (UNAM) is experiencing an influx of candidates wishing to register for intervention programmes, especially the English Access Course.
The institution introduced the programme in 2012 at its Oshakati, Windhoek, Katima Mulilo, Rundu and Erongo centres to address the need of many Namibian students who perform well in Grade 12 but fail to obtain the minimum required C-symbol in English, to enroll at UNAM.
Hundreds of people gathered at the UNAM Oshakati Campus from as early as 05h00 on Wednesday to register for the course, and the situation was “unbearable”, said administration staff.
UNAM Oshakati Campus Director, Dr Paulina Uugwanga told Nampa on Wednesday they are forced to send some prospective students home because of limited teaching space and resources.
Uugwanga said their campus can only accommodate about 250 students, and preference is given to those who have obtained high points in Grade 12 as well as those from disadvantaged schools.
“We are talking about students from schools who have been struggling to find qualified teachers, resulting in the failure of students,” she said.
Students who have obtained 25 points in five subjects, including an E or D symbol in English, qualify for the course.
The course duration is over two semesters and students attend class for four hours twice a week. It covers reading and writing, listening and speaking, and language awareness.
Uugwanga said most students who perform well and want to register for these courses are from previously disadvantaged families and can, on many occasions, not afford to register for the programme because of high costs.
It cost about N.dollars 3 530, and government through its Namibian Students' Financial Assistance Fund does not provide sponsorship for this course.
“We are just trying to find out how we can get the government to fund these students in order for them to be able to make it to university level for better futures,” said Uugwanga.
She said since its introduction, the course has enabled a large number of students to, on completion, register for degrees and diploma courses of their choice.
“I can proudly say a lot of students, especially those doing nursing and education courses, have gone through this Access course,” she noted.