07 Sep 2013 06:40
KEETMANSHOOP, 07 SEP (NAMPA) President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday commended the University of Namibia (Unam) for taking education closer to the people.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Unam Southern Campus at Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region, he said the establishment of the campus here is another milestone in the history of Unam, as institutions of higher learning play a vital role in the countrys development and upliftment of peoples living standards.
The campus will be Unams 12th in the country.
Our Government will continue to invest in our education sector as a matter of priority.
We believe that the development of physical infrastructure should be accelerated in order to promote equitable access to education by our young people in all parts of the country, said the Head of State.
Pohamba, who is also Unam Chancellor, said there is no doubt that once completed, the campus will play a vital role in contributing to the social and economic development of the nation and specifically //Karas residents.
Young people from this region will no longer have to travel long distances in order to access and pursue higher education. I wish to express, on behalf of Unam, our gratitude to business communities and individuals who made contributions towards the establishment of the campus during the fundraising events, he said.
The president stressed that quality education in the country should start at lower levels and not only at higher levels, adding that this is one reason why Government made primary school education free of charge.
It does not sound well that we import doctors and teachers. Lets train our own teachers and doctors here. Twenty-three years is a long time for us not to be able to have our own health practitioners and teachers, the Head of State said.
On his part, Unam Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula urged the community of the south to work together and ensure great success for the campus.
Hangula said in the future, the southern campus will be used as the centre of excellence for Geosciences.
He noted that more resources are needed to make the southern campus a reality, thus the private and corporate sectors must continue to support Unam.
Also speaking during the event, Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi, who is instrumental in the establishment of the southern campus, urged the people of the south to grab the opportunity with both hands and take full ownership of the campus
Swartbooi said this requires deep commitment from residents.
He urged them to seize opportunities, adding that if they continue to claim victimisation because they do not have education and jobs, then people might stop listening.
When great things like this are happening to us, words are shallow, emotions are deep and the eyes are shining, a joyful Swartbooi remarked.
While construction of the campus is underway, the first intakes will attend lectures at the Teachers Resource Centre (TRC) and Unam Centre, starting February 2014.
In its first phase, the southern campus will offer a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Pre- and Lower-Primary Education, Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship.
Other courses such as Geoscience and Agriculture will follow in the future.
The campus is open for everyone in the country, but will mainly accommodate people from the //Karas, Hardap and Omaheke regions.
Meanwhile, local companies and individuals on Friday pledged N.dollars 336 400 towards the construction of the campus in addition to N.dollars 12 million already raised earlier this year.