NDP 5 taking the nation’s education needs to the next level
By Hilya Nghiwete
Chief Executive Officer
At the end of May, this year, Namibia was presented with the fifth incarnation of our National Development Plan (NDP 5). All aspects of over economy, society and development are contained within these plans and the very first National development Plan started the development of Namibia that we see today.
Not just governmentally as a strong and stable democracy, but also one of the most competitive countries on the African continent. As the CEO of NSFAF, all aspects of Namibia’s developmental plans hold my interest, but of course, I was especially focused on the educational plans and activities within NDP 5.
The plans and goals are ambitious to say the least, but it is vital that Namibia and Namibians of all ages work together to try and achieve these goals. Only then can we as a nation continue to move forward.
NDP 5 is tackling education at the most basic levels. Stating; By 2022, Namibian children aged0-8 will have a secure educational foundation, through access to Early Childhood Development services. Without a solid basis, our children can never be ready for secondary school and beyond. Which is where we need to focusing on and it starts at the very beginning. With more qualified care givers and access to education for all, wherever they may reside in the Land of the Brave.
The goal is that by 2022, all learners have access to equitable inclusive quality education that qualifies them to pursue higher education. This is where we as NSFAF shine. We want to get as many learners to make the leap from secondary school to tertiary education and are here to assist them financially.
However, we, like every organization is limited by resources. This means that we need to be sure that the ‘potential’ students getting financial assistance in one form or another are successful in their pursuit of a degree.
The goals of NDP 5 from an educational point of view don’t end there. Learners, graduates and young professionals need skills that are useful. Not only beneficial, but their skills and training and education need to match employers requirements. That is why by 2022, Namibia will have an education system that responds to industry’s needs. This means investing in Technical, Vocational Education & Training Strategies and increasing enrolment of students in these centres by 50,000 in 2022.
NSFAF is a great supporter and believer in this method of teaching our youngsters. The universities and tertiary institutions don’t have the capacity for all school leavers. However, we need technically skilled staff as much as we need doctors, lawyers, engineers for example.
This is not all, the higher education goals are just as ambitious. With creating an environment whereby 70% of all those enrolled in tertiary education complete the course. This is essential for NSFAF as well. As and when we invest in students, knowing that they will become productive salaried members of the workforce means we know they will have the means and opportunity to pay their loan. Meaning that another student down the line can benefit from this repaid loan. Having been involved with education for many years,seeing such a bold plan of action and actual checks and balances attached, makes me very happy. Knowing that our government and institutions like NSFAF are aligned in the desire to improve access to education and the level and quality of education for our learners across the board.
It gives me an enormous sense of confidence in our country and our future, as long as we work together as a singular team that is laser-focused on achieving the NDP 5 goals by 2022, and hopefully some even before then.