Mature-age student urges others to follow suit

30 Oct 2013 07:30am
By Mathias Nanghanda
OSHAKATI, 30 OCT (NAMPA) – For some, learning ends when they finish Grade 12. For others, this happens when they graduate from university or other institutes of higher learning and start their first jobs. And then there are those who make learning a lifelong process.
One such person is Ndilimeke Mavulu, the deputy director of planning and development services for the Oshana Region Council.
Mavulu, 52, never gave up on her education, and recently reached her personal goal of earning a Bachelor of Technology: Public Management.
She started this degree course in 2006 on a distance learning basis.
And she is not stopping there, as she has already applied for admission to the Polytechnic of Namibia to study towards a Master's Degree in Leadership and Change Management from next year.
Mavulu told Nampa recently that life was hard.
“I had major clinical surgery in 2006 and was again operated on the following year. Despite this, I was strong and courageous to never give up on my studies which I had already committed myself to,” she said.
Mavulu pointed out that doing assignments, meeting the deadlines and preparing for examinations were tough and hectic for her as a civil servant, part-time farmer and single mother since 2001.
It was supposed to be a four-year training course, but she took a little longer to complete it.
“Today I am cheerful as I successfully completed my qualification at the age of 52 years,” Mavulu said.
Her two daughters have also completed their tertiary education and are both employed now as a result of their mother's encouragement and the example she set as a mature-age student.
“I succeeded inspite of many challenges and distractions. My road to success was not easy as I faced a crowd of problems on my journey,” Mavulu said, referring to a break-up with her husband some 12 years ago.
She initially wanted to register for a Bachelors’ Degree with the Polytechnic of Namibia immediately after completing a National Diploma in Public Administration at the same institution in the year 2000, but she dropped that plan due to financial constraints.
“I first concentrated on paying the school fees for my two daughters who were at secondary school at the time, and continued paying their school fees until they completed their tertiary education and became financially independent,” said Mavulu.
She encouraged fellow Namibians who may feel that they cannot study because of age or devastating situations, to try and further their studies.
“Set yourself a goal, you can make it,” she urged.
She expressed confidence that she will apply the knowledge and skills she acquired to positively contribute to the development of this country.
Mavulu is a war veteran. She left the country at the age of 16 and underwent secondary education at Kwanza-Sul, Angola, and vocational training in then East Germany between 1977 and 1982.
She worked for Swapo’s department of transport before returning to Namibia in 1990.
Upon her return to Namibia, Mavulu started working as a clerk in the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Citizenship, Aliens and Border Control Unit, and was then promoted to a supervisor in the Directorate of Population Services.
She also served in the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a senior officer responsible for the administration of social grants until 2005, the year she became Deputy Director of Planning and Development Services for the Oshana Regional Council.