Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Education to rename the Polytechnic of Namibia as the University of Science and technology as per the recommendation of a report on the comprehensive and holistic review and reform of the higher education system. The name change of the polytechnic of Namibia will be effected with conditions and that the polytechnic keeps the certificates and diploma courses for a period of not more than five years. This was announced by the honourable minister of Education Dr. Abraham Iyambo recently in a media briefing.
The report pointed out the merger of the former colleges of Education with UNAM was a mistake and recommended that Colleges of Education should be re-established for training of particularly primary school teachers. Cabinet has therefore directed the re-establishment of colleges of education and the establishment of 2 or 3 universities over the next 20 years in appropriate regions outside Windhoek to offer certificates, diploma and selected undergraduate degree programmes.
Cabinet further directed that the Ministry should spearhead the establishment of high-level inter-ministerial committee involving the ministry of Education, Finance, Trade and Industry, Labour, Home Affairs, works, transport and communication and the National Planning Commission.
A report on the comprehensive and holistic Review and reform of the higher Education System in Namibia in relation to its contribution to the achievement of vision 2030 has pointed out some issues in the higher education system. According to the report the linkages between higher education and the private sector in Namibia is weak and needs to be strengthened to ensure that education and training is demand driven and that its products are employable.
The report which pointed out that there is a skills deficit in Namibia stressed the importance of improving the levels of preparedness of Grade 12 school leavers for further studies and employment. The report has further revealed that institutions of higher learning are drifting away from their original mandate at both UNAM and Polytechnic of Namibia. The report has found that UNAM has a very high enrolment in certificate and diploma programmes and very low enrolment in Master and Doctoral programmes indicating that the institution has drifted to be more like a University of technology or a Polytechnic type. The Polytechnic seem to be drifting strong into degree programmes at the cost of certificates and diplomas.
The Minister pointed out that through a ministerial Investigation, it came to light that higher education institutions do not obtain approval from the Ministry of Education before introducing new courses. The report has cautioned that if allowed, this practice will have serious impact on the national development agenda and the quality of academic programmes and further lead to a drift of higher education institutions.Other News Articles