Local students jet off to Finland to qualify as teachers
Mr Olavi Hamwele and Ms Hilya Nghiwete (seated centre and centre left) of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, with the designated Ambassador to Finland, Mr. Bonny Haufiku (centre right) last week hosted an event to celebrate 24 Namibian students being given the opportunity to do their Bachelors in Teachers Education at one of the finest and oldest teacher training universities in Finland.
The students represent the initial group of a total of 50 students that secured a place at Turku University in Rauma, Finland after last year’s ministerial delegation went to Finland to discuss educational collaboration to have more local teachers trained at an international level.
The fund joined the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation’s Ministerial delegation that went to Finland last year to engage universities for the purposes of placing local students in Finnish tertiary institutions. The first group of 25 are pursuing their Masters in Primary Education and the other group that left on Monday will do a Bachelor Degree at Turku University.
“It is a real privilege for the Namibian students to be able to study at the University of Turku, one of the oldest universities in Finland, with 120 years of experience in offering teachers education,” said Nghiwete.
“The departure of these students truly demonstrates the benefit of having an organization like NSFAF in Namibia. At least six of the Namibian students who completed grade 12 in 2014, most of them with over 30 points, never pursued any tertiary education until now. They did not have access for whatever reason to any information on how to go to universities, start funding or admission procedures at any academic institutions in Namibia or elsewhere,” she added.
Through the 2015 regional campaign which NSFAF undertook to create awareness about the State Fund that provides financial assistance to students to access tertiary education, NSFAF identified these potential students.
The designated Ambassador of Namibia to Finland, Bonny Haufiku was present at the pre-departure briefing where he told students that they must always remember that while in Finland they are first of all Namibian before anything else and they should take good care of each other and act as ambassadors.
“The Finnish accommodation are of a good standard and the university is ready and eager to give the Namibian students an excellent study experience. On top of that there are local foster parents to give the students social and emotional support,” he said.
Olavi Hamwele of NSFAF said, “It gives the NSFAF a great sense of purpose and pride to see these students jet off to pursue their educational dreams with the assistance of the ministry and our very own NSFAF. Through our special initiatives programme the 25 learners that are now studying at Limkokwing will also be making valuable contributions to Namibia. This is what access to education for all is really about. NSFAF will continue to pursue this and attempt to assist each and every capable learner of achieving their academic best.”