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Go Back to the List November 01, 2018
3 000 VTC instructors unqualified

OVER 3 000 trainers at some of the leading national vocational training centres are not qualified while others are under-qualified. Higher education minister Idah Kandjii-Murangi said this to The Namibian yesterday following a meeting she held on Tuesday in Windhoek with Finnish minister for economic affairs Mika Tapani Lintilä on how the two countries can mutually benefit in the area of teacher and instructor training. Kandjii-Murangi said there was a great need to upgrade the skills of instructors to meet the demand and quality of vocational training in the country. The transformation of vocational education is a pillar that can address social inequalities but requires qualified, experienced and committed instructors, she noted. Kandjii-Murangi said to address the skills shortage, particularly at VTCs, the government has tasked the Namibia University of Science and Technology with a new faculty of steward education. The government has agreed with their Finnish counterparts to work through a programme of retired technical and vocational education and training instructors from that country to lay a firm foundation with the aim of teacher and instructor education. Most of the training will be taking place during the holidays, as from next year. Lintilä told The Namibian after the meeting with Kandjii-Murangi that the Finnish government has enjoyed a stable relationship with Namibia that has spanned over decades, particularly when it comes to education. The president and chief executive officer of the Finland University , Pekka Saavalainen, on Tuesday said the fact that the Namibian government has invested a lot in some students who are currently training for their master's degrees in education in that country shows the country's dedication to teacher qualification. He added that these collaborations need to be strengthened. “We need to find ways to continue the teacher education programmes that have started so well. We have a keen eye to ensure that the [Namibian teachers in Finland] integrate back into Namibia properly so that they will be servicing the needs of this country, and contributing to building the teacher education programmes in Namibia,” he continued. Saavalainen said Kandjii-Murangi was keen on engaging in activities that would upgrade teachers and the education system. He also commended the Namibian government for investing one-third of its national budget into education. The deputy director general for Africa and the Middle East at the Finnish ministry of foreign affairs, Kristiina Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos, said the relationship between Namibia and Finland has morphed into a partnership, instead of a donor and recipient one, such as was the case in the past. She said among some of the critical collaborations they have formed with the Namibian education ministry was in the area of vocational training, including teachers' training, quality control of education systems, the continuation of research collaboration, and the university collaboration to develop capacities together. “During the meeting with the minister [Kandjii-Murangi], the government stressed that Namibia had made high investments in the education sector, but for various reasons, the input and output ratio is not balanced,” she added.

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Written by Theresia Tjihenuna,
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