UNAM and NTA sign agreement

04 Nov 2017 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 04 NOV (NAMPA) – The University of Namibia (UNAM) and Namibia Training Authority (NTA) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the articulation of programmes and capacity building in pedagogical training of lectures.
The MoU specifically focuses on articulation of programmes such as research in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and capacity building in pedagogical training of TVET lectures while implementing internships and attachments.
By articulating the programmes, the two institutions will combine their theory and practice.
Signing on behalf of UNAM, its Vice Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula explained that the linkage between the university and TVET is crucial in creating essential pathways for advanced knowledge and skills required to develop all sectors of Namibia’s economy.
He said academic and technical training, as well as research and innovation, are fundamental in guaranteeing industrial development of a nation.
“The cooperation between our two institutions is a milestone in our effort to develop a rounded up human resource capacity that is needed for Namibia’s economic growth,” he said.
Hangula said the agreement is important for UNAM as it will enable it to establish advanced scientific programmes in key sectors of the economy, which will enable value addition while promoting innovation.
On his part, NTA Chief Executive Officer Jerry Beukes said TVET in Namibia has tended to provide students with fewer opportunities to access tertiary education, while for the majority, it is deemed a dead-end choice in terms of opportunities for lifelong learning.
He added that despite significant improvements over recent years, Technical and Vocational Education and Training continues to be perceived as the ‘poor quality’ option, affecting its acceptance among students and parents.
Research findings, he said, point to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds being over-represented in TVET streams, thus raising equity and accessibility concerns.
He stated that if TVET, in line with the knowledge economy objectives, is to assume its rightful role as an instrument for development, it has to become a quality option for students.
“Together, we can make it a quality option if we build and establish the pathways between general education, TVET and training schemes,” Beukes said.
He also noted that the closer articulation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training with the whole of the education sector has the potential to improve vertical and horizontal learning pathways and give increased impetus to the operationalisation of ‘TVET for all’ and ‘Education for all.’