Phyllis ya Nangoloh
The first time I heard about Sunshine Group of Schools having a tertiary department was in late 2019, when I was busy pursuing my master’s degree at the University of Namibia (UNAM). I had a temporary teaching post at one of the local schools because I did not have a qualification in Education.
I remember having a conversation with my colleagues about how time consuming and costly it would be to pursue another four-years course, but in education. I had little knowledge about the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). As I presented my grievances to my colleagues, they enlightened me more on the PGDE, the duration of the course and how similar it is to possessing a qualification in Education.
The topic intrigued me that I asked question after question: “Which institutions offer this course?”; “How much does one have to pay for the course?”; “Are you sure it is similar to possessing a qualification in Education?” …and so had the questions poured out of my mouth one after the other. I was satisfied with the answers, however, there was just one little problem. It was late in the year; most institutions had already closed their application dates and I could not apply at UNAM as I was already an enrolled student.
Where I would pursue the PGDE the following year was what puzzled me, until I presented my complaints to my colleague and she introduced me to Sunshine Private College Teacher Education Department (SPCTED). At first, I thought she was playing games as I strongly believed the Sunshine Group of Schools only had an education level up to grade nine at that time.
Little did I know that the Sunshine Group of Schools wanted to enter the new year (2020) with a bang! Right! So, with evidence of the institution’s website, I browsed through and it immediately caught my attention. I called the numbers provided and visited the institution. To shorten the story, I applied with my existing qualifications and received an offer letter after two weeks.
At first, I almost threw in the towel as there were only a handful of us. To make it worse, the institution was not yet registered! Though I wanted to deregister myself from the institution, I told myself, “Phyllis, at least give the lecturers a chance to prove themselves.” I attended the first lesson and it was quite interesting and impressive. The institution has professionally qualified staff members with many years of experience. Their manner of transferring knowledge is quite different from the usual that we receive from the known higher education institutions.
Albeit the first year the institution received students was during the times of COVID-19, the lecturers made sure quality content and training was offered. COVID-19 had nothing on our education! We received a blended learning which included face-to-face lessons and online learning. You would think that since the institution had just taken its first baby steps, it would have had few learning materials and resources. False! As I said earlier, the institution opened the new year with a bang! Efficient and relevant material and resources were available. For some of us who had no access to the internet from home, the institution had taken care of that by proving us with material in a Universal Serial Bus (USB). Additionally, we also had access to the computer lab which had enough computers for all of us and a fast-operating internet speed. Most, if not everything was provided for and to us. It was as if the institution had already been established years ago and had already been operating. And yes, there definitely is also a recreational room where you can go and relax and detox your mind off that stress caused by the assignment you just failed.
Let’s go deeper into the courses the institution offers. Currently, the institution offers two undergraduate degrees at NQF Level 8. These are: a Bachelor of Education Honours in Junior Primary (BedJP) and a Bachelor of Education Honours in Senior Primary (BedSP). These are additions to the PGDE, also at NQF level 8. A little birdie tweeted that there will be more programs offered at SPCTED in the very, very near future. You better watch this space! Anyways, these four-year bachelor degree courses can be pursued by students who wish to be teachers. The one-year PGDE should be pursued by those who already have a non-teaching qualification in any relevant primary or high school subject(s) and wish to become teachers. All courses are offered and taught by top professionals…not to mention how affordable their tuition fees are! I am sure by now you are still wondering whether the institution is not yet accredited. Let me shock you a little bit…the institution is proudly accredited by the Namibia Qualification Authority and the National Council for Higher Education! Yes! The institution is fully accredited by these two bodies.
To pen off, I had a really wonderful experience at SPCTED, not only as a student, but as the SRC president as well. I learned so much. I grew professionally and academically. SPCTED proudly hosted its very first ever graduation ceremony on the 26th of November 2021, at Avani Hotel. I am now a fully qualified and a professional teacher thanks to the Director, Mrs Nomakando Kangira, the lecturers and administration staff of SPCTED. Many thanks also go to the class of 2020-2021. We encouraged each other and worked hard for this qualification. I just want to encourage those that want to fulfil their dreams to look high up in the sky…that is your only limit. Go and pursue that course in education! So, if you wish to pursue a qualification in any of the mentioned courses at SPCTED, please visit their website www.sunshinecollegenam.com or you can contact them at 061 402 442 or email@example.com. Trust me, this institution will not let you down.
*Phyllis ya Nangoloh – Language teacher, holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (English and Afrikaans); MA: English Studies and a BA: English Studies and Industrial Psychology