The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Member of Parliament, Kennedy Shekupakela, is not convinced that some institutions of higher education that keep popping up every year at the beginning of the academic period can offer quality education to Namibians.
He demanded that the Minister of High Education, Innovation and Technology, Itah Kandjii Murangi, review how such institutions are granted registration and permission to give sub-standard education to young Namibians.
Shekupakela made these remarks in the National Assembly this week while giving a notice of questions to Minister Murangi if she has noticed that most of such institutions have lowered their entry requirements, which according to him are compromising the quality of education in the country.
“Does the Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology realise that there is a high degree of mushrooming of institutions of higher learning in our country? Education is one of the most appropriate strategies for the empowerment of our people. However, when the entry requirement is lowered to grade 10 or 10 points in grade 12, the empowerment element gets compromised.
Does the Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology know that some Namibians who love cutting corners do welcome such institutions with lower entry requirements,” said Shekupakela.
The lawmaker cautioned that another debilitating practice commonly found in these institutions is that proper supervision and monitoring standards and quality assurance is too relaxed such that curriculum implementation does not meet market demands.
“It is not surprising that today Namibia has more unemployable graduates than 20 years earlier. Why is it fashionable today for some of these institutions of higher learning to be engaged in the business of producing graduates who are not employable? What is the Ministry of Higher Learning doing to curtail this mass production of unemployable graduates? Who are we benefiting in allowing these practices?” Shekupakela asked.
The MP also expressed that he is concerned by the fact that most Namibian students at higher institutions of learning are acquiring their qualifications through corrupt practices of so-called consultancy services whereby much of their academic writing is done by the so-called consultants in exchange for all kinds of commodities be it finance, goods and even marks for sex.
According to him, through such practices, the country is left with people half-educated unable to run offices and departments efficiently and competently.
“The registration of the mushrooming of these institutions of higher learning need serious review in terms of their suitability, standardisation, curriculum supervision and monitoring. It is high time that we refuse to compromise quality education for our people. Otherwise, Namibia will continue hiring educated people from other countries at the expense of our own people with useless qualifications.
The Independence honeymoon is long gone. The ambitious goal of Namibia to become an industrialised nation by 2030 will not be realised if the above concern is not addressed as a matter of urgency,” Shekupakela warned.