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Graduates suck at written English

A tracer study conducted on University of Namibia and Polytechnic graduates, who completed their studies between 1999 and 2008, has showed that although employers do see benefits from the employment of graduates, many are not satisfied with their level of written English.
The survey, found amongst others, that a significant proportion employers do not feel that they have sufficient in depth contact with institutions of higher learning, although some satisfactory relationships do exist. Some employers feel that graduates are not adequately prepared for work. They lack experience of the workplace.
The study which was the first attempt to conduct a tracer study in the country was commissioned in September last year by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and was officially launched this week.
“The main purpose of this study was to gain information on the current employment and economic status of the graduates and their assessment of the relevance and quality of their education within their work context,” said Dr Zedekia Ngavirue, former chairperson of the National Council for Higher Education.
He further said, the views of employers were also solicited to ascertain, particular concerning graduates scholarly abilities such as their ability to apply theoretical knowledge to concrete problems, their ability to generate and disseminate knowledge and their competitiveness measured against graduates and non degree holders from other education providers.
With regards to the interviews with the graduates, the study found that the decision to study at a particular institution is mainly influenced by its reputation; about half of the graduates obtained employment by applying for a vacant position while four out of five began the search for employment before graduation. Most graduates contacted up to three employees before their first employment.
The survey also found that nearly 60% of graduates had not changed their employer since graduation and that only 1% are self-employed.
According to Ngavirue, based on the information provided by the graduates and employers  recommendations were made, amongst others collaboration and in-depth dialogue with employers should be intensified. Post studies and the research capacity of the institution should also be discussed with employers.
“Higher education institutions should assist students to find employment before they leave the institution. Exposure to all possible employers in a particular industry should be facilitated. The NCHE should rapidly commission a narrower tracer study to find unemployed graduates,” he said.
He added that the matter of improved standards of written English should receive attention across the board.
“Special efforts and arrangements including curriculum change, special compensatory courses and guidance to all lecturers may have to be made until such time as students enter higher education with better levels of written English. Additional attention should be focused on improving internships, work experience and exposure of students to employers and workplaces,” said Dr Ngavirue.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.