Companies must assist students to acquire skills: Namwandi

20 Jan 2014 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JAN (NAMPA) – Telecom Namibia (TN) on Monday handed over bursaries worth N. dollars 1.2 million to 10 students who will pursue studies at the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) and the University of Namibia (Unam) here.
The bursaries cover meals, accommodation, tuition, books, travel and monthly allowances.
The beneficiaries will study among others Accounting, Information Technology (IT), Telecommunications and Electronic Engineering.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony in the capital, the Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi expressed concern that there are companies who are complaining about the lack of manpower in the country, but are reluctant to join Government in assisting students to further their careers and get the required skills for the job market.
He said it is of paramount importance that such companies get involved to train and mould young Namibians.
“Government does what it can to give general knowledge because it is our responsibility, but we feel education is a shared responsibility and it is important for our young ones to get exposed,” the Education Minister said.
He then called on all companies in the country to emulate the good example of Telecom Namibia, while calling on the students to appreciate the opportunity offered.
Handing over the bursaries to the students who hail from 13 regions of the country, TN Managing Director (MD) Frans Ndoroma said over the past five years, a total of 77 school leavers have been awarded bursaries, while 55 have participated in his company’s internship programmes.
In addition, 24 graduates were trained as engineers-in-training and 50 as engineer technicians-in-training, while 27 graduates were trained as IP/IT trainees.
Ndoroma noted that TN has invested substantially - helping to disseminate modern knowledge and introducing modern technology across all strata, particularly in the sphere of education and supporting worthy causes in the areas of sport and women empowerment.
Telecom Namibia has also increased youth employment through its Graduate Development Programme, bridging the gap between academia and industry with the TN Centre of Excellence at Unam - the recently incorporated knowledge portal, which is a rural project to support E-Learning in the remote areas.
Ndoroma explained that creating hope and meaningful opportunity for young people is a crucial concern of Government and institutions such as TN.
“This is an issue to which all responsible citizens need to give serious and sustained attention. It is with this in mind that we as a corporation wish to create hope and opportunity through this initiative by providing full-cost bursaries to academically-able but financially needy learners,” Ndoroma stressed.
He reiterated TN's sustained and continuous commitment to the development of human talent as well as to the country's vision of developing a world-class work force by awarding the 10 students the opportunity to build their careers and continuing to support the objectives in Vision 2030 of a better life for all.
The MD indicated that the bursaries is but a small contribution to the national effort to develop the skills of young people, as the country traverse the difficult terrain of socio-economic development in pursuit of the strategic objectives in the National Development Plan Four (NDP 4).