The Alba Chipamba Training Centre in Oshikango was inundated with criticism this week from members of the public, parliamentarians, lawyers, and organisations over its decision to expel an 18-year old student nurse because of a TikTok video in which she is singing to music and holding a glass while in uniform.
Youthful parliamentarian, Inna Hengari on Tuesday commented on the matter and said that when young people are believed to be acting inappropriately, they should be called, corrected, and advised. They should not be shunned or dismissed.
Hengari, who is also an activist, said she has observed that many young people in Namibia are already walking the streets stressed and with little hope.
“It doesn’t help that we kick out those who want to make the most of the little possibilities they have,” she said.
The parliamentarian explained that instead of discriminating against young people, the youth should be encouraged to meet their potential and realize their dreams.
Maria Edward (18) who was studying nursing at the Alba Chipamba Training Centre was on Monday dismissed from the Centre because she reportedly tarnished the image of the institution.
The action by Alba Chipamba Training Centre to dismiss Edward caused many people to comment that the school took a wrong decision by expelling her and thereby deriving her of her future potential. Many people were of the opinion that she should have been disciplined instead of expelled.
According to the dismissal letter, signed by the head of the Oshikango campus, Aina Kuutondokwa, Maria Edward was also dismissed on charges of refusing to comply with a lawful instruction or request by an official.
“The above student went on social media in the name of a TikTok challenge while in school uniform singing along to a song and appearing drunk. As the Alba Chipamba Training Centre disciplinary committee, we have made efforts to mentor the student, so she reforms and is committed to her career,” notes the dismissal letter.
However, despite the disciplinary measures put in place, Edward has refused to reform.
Some members of the public advised Edward to approach the court and seek legal representation to sue the institution for dismissing her.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Kadhila Amoomo called for fairness on the matter by saying the dismissal of the student by the Centre was unfair, and that the school will never survive a legal challenge.
“This is an unfair dismissal by the Alba Chipamba Training Centre. It will never survive a legal challenge. Let’s be fair,” Amoomo stated.
Job Amupanda, the leader of Affirmative Repositioning (AR) has also commented on the matter and called on the Alba Chipamba Training Centre to rectify the dismissal of the student before it is too late.
“That Centre must rectify this soon. Please inform them. If they know what is best for them,” Amupanda said.
Contacted for comment, the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi yesterday said she is not aware of the matter.
“Unfortunately, I am not aware of the case you are referring to, sorry,” the Minister said.
Kandjii-Murangi, however, requested that the clip be sent to her to enable her to make an official comment on behalf of the Ministry.
The link to the clip was sent to the minister, and she did not comment further.
“Kindly forward the clip, I am not on all social media platforms,” she requested.
Edward was not in a bar, shebeen or any drinking environment. She recorded the video in a car.
Edward explained that she was dismissed because the head of the Oshikango campus observed her looking drunk in her trending video.
The student is reported to have recorded the video in her grandmother’s car on her way home from school, and that she was drinking Coca-Cola.
Edward said she was never given a chance to give her side of the matter. She added that she recorded the video in February, and posted it on her status to share it with friends who later leaked it to the public.
Namibian National Students Organization (Nanso) Spokesperson, Dorthea Nangolo, said the expulsion of Edward from the Centre was clear.
She stated that Edward’s dismissal was not legal because she was not given an opportunity at a hearing to give her side of the story.
“The video was recorded in a private place, which is not a bar or shebeen, and she share the video on social media, and for that reason, Nanso believes that the institution did not interpret the code of conduct properly,” Nangolo said.
Nangolo said Nanso is working on getting the student legal assistance to challenge the dismissal because the student body is convinced that there was no violation of any rules.