Let’s unite and educate our children – Mbumba

Nangolo Mbumba

President Nangolo Mbumba has urged parents and regional and local authorities of the Hardap and //Kharas regions to prioritise the education of their children.

Mbumba was speaking at the University of Namibia (Unam) Southern Campus graduation on Friday at Keetmanshoop, where 159 students graduated in various fields like accounting, business administration and education.

The university is expected to confer qualifications to more than 4 450 graduates this year across all its campuses.

Since the southern campus’ inception in 2014, over 1 000 students have graduated at Keetmanshoop.

Mbumba said Unam is doing well nationally, however, more needs to be done to increase the numbers of graduates in the two regions.

“In this context, I would like to strongly appeal to the parents, families, communities, educational officials and councillors to join hands and encourage more students from the southern regions, so that we can increase their participation and success at university level,” said Mbumba.

The president said the government remains committed to the development and well-being of the youth in the Hardap and //Kharas regions, as well as nationally.

He further said a qualification from Unam should serve as a valuable asset in improving their lives, the lives of their families and the country, by enabling them to competitively seize opportunities, both nationally and internationally.

“Namibia is on the brink of an energy revolution in green hydrogen, and recently discovered oil and gas, which will all require well qualified workers. Therefore, embrace these opportunities that lie ahead, and use your acquired knowledge, skills and values for the industrialisation of the Namibian economy,” said Mbumba.

In a recent article published by New Era, the chairperson of the Green Hydrogen Council, Obeth Kandjoze, expressed dismay with “under-representation of nationals from the Hardap and //Kharas regions when the second round of scholarships for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications were awarded for green hydrogen.

“To this end, the government is exploring a bespoke TVET programme for the southern regions to ensure that when the Southern Corridor Development Initiative projects commence, Namibia has built local capacity across all demographics to absorb the employment opportunities in an equitable manner. We need to ensure that these aspiring students [from the two regions] are supported and uplifted so that they can meet the requirements to get these scholarships as well,” said Kandjoze.

Unam vice chancellor Kenneth Matengu said this year, a total of N$10 million is allocated for the construction of lecture halls and more is expected in the next two years to complete phase one of the southern campus development cycle, ensuring that more and better facilities will be built and more students will be enrolled.

“The construction of these facilities will enable Unam to solidify its position as the scientific and research and development partner for the emerging sectors of oil and gas, green hydrogen and other renewable energy resources, as well as the exploration and exploitation of critical minerals that the country is so richly endowed with,” said Matengu.

Matengu, however, urged that more must be done at basic and primary education level to assist pupils, as the State of Global Learning Poverty Report of 2022 estimates that seven out of 10 children in low- and middle-income countries are not able to understand a simple text by age 10.

“In this world and in Africa by and large, we need teachers who will provide quality education to our young children.

Our graduates, this is the beginning of your fight against poverty and ignorance. You will succeed and your life and that of your family will never be the same.

“But also help others to achieve their dreams. In the world of rapid technological advancements, I encourage you, dear graduates, to continue learning. The future of work demands new skills at all times and continuous learning. Therefore, remain a learner for life,” said Matengu.

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