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Higher Education Minister sheds more light on green hydrogen-related courses during north tour

Higher Education Minister sheds more light on green hydrogen-related courses during north tour

The Minister of Higher Education, Technology, and Innovation (MHETI) Hon. Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi last week toured the northern Vocational Training Centres (VTC), where she engaged with management, student trainees and other stakeholders to shed more light on the benefits of green hydrogen-related courses.

These centres included the Valombola VTC, Nakayale VTC, Eenhana VTC, and the newly constructed VTC in Khorixas.

Providing some feedback, Kandjii-Murangi noted that the recent northern tour’s particular importance and interest was the exposure concerning Green Hydrogen-related courses.

“I managed to engage trainees and the key administrators of these centres, and I am convinced that through collective efforts, Namibia is in a position to provide ‘Jobs For The Future’,” she said, adding that the country has to be agile and develop the requisite knowledge, competencies, and skills in green hydrogen, oil, gas, 4IR, and other possible fields.

The minister also acknowledged that for this to happen, local universities and TVET colleges ought to be positioned to grow fast and develop pools of required experts and technicians in these new economic growth areas.

Moreover, the minister met and engaged with more than 400 trainees and sat in more than seven management meetings and other consultations during her tour.

The Valombola, Nakayale, and Eenhana VTCs have a combined trainee capacity of 2000 trainees, while the newly constructed Khorixas VTC in Kunene region is expected to be completed by June 2023, with the first intake anticipated in June/July this year, according to a media release issued by the Office of the Minister.

Furthermore, about 93 Namibians will receive scholarships worth more than N$34 million to pursue their Master’s and TVET studies in areas related to the Synthetic Fuels industry.

“The green hydrogen scholarships will soon be revealed. Two categories of Namibia students are funded – those to be trained at the Master’s level and those at the Technical level. We expect to see the admission of some of these Master’s level students into our local universities, with the necessary required professional capacity/ expertise and suitable facilities and infrastructure. We also expect some of those sponsored to pursue technical fields to be admitted locally at Namibia’s TVET Colleges that offer relevant trades, with the right technical capacity/ expertise, and suitable infrastructure,” the Office of the Minister said.

Her key message to trainees was that investment in the education and training of the youth of a nation is almost a mandatory global phenomenon. “This is because the youth are the future of nations. It is thus critical that they are educated and trained well for the myriad of careers and diverse priority professional and technical fields,” added the Office of the Minister.

“With newly discovered economic growth points, the Namibian labour market is expanding and fast-changing. The 4th & 5th IR and other emerging technologies further compound the need for Namibia’s vocational training centres to be fully prepared. There are two streams of tertiary education; academic and technical – do not confine yourself to one – remember that the technical field – VTCs – gives immediate financial freedom the day you graduate and take your tools and put them to work as a self-employed entrepreneur,” Kandjii-Murangi said at the Eenhana VTC.

However, Kandjii-Murang also expressed concern that the deferred participation of local institutions will delay institutions’ development regarding human capital (relevant experts) and infrastructure development (suitable facilities).

She added: “While from the onset we may heavily rely on our development partners and friendly countries to train our people, perpetual dependence is no solution, certainly not with the rate of youth unemployment at hand.”

Kandjii-Murangi went on to say that she got to understand first-hand how local business partners in these regions avail for the practical know-how that the students receive and how parents and communities endure supporting the academic journeys of their children, adding that they can never thank them enough.

“We all owe it to our children and youth to give them quality basic, technical, and academic education to prepare them for the future. Their future effective participation in the Namibian mainstream economy depends on what we give them and how well we package what we give them now, as they traverse the tertiary education landscape of different tertiary institutions in the country,” Kandjii-Murangi added.

Meanwhile, the minister congratulated the administrative teams of the northern VTCs for their efforts in improving efficiency, agile leadership, technical solutions, and hard work. “We need to continue creating fora for dialogue and exchange of ideas among our stakeholders, trainees, and administrators, to drive Namibia’s development agenda and to ensure that the country derives maximum benefits from its human and natural resources through vocational expertise,” she commented at the Valombola VTC.

“Our development partners may come to our aid to assist as we prepare to build relevant local capacity in-country and elsewhere. But the onus is on the government, our Ministry (MHETI), and those deployed in the tertiary sector (higher education and training), to accelerate the development of relevant curricula content, trades & programmes, responsive instructor & lecturer upskilling programmes, suitable & reliable infrastructure development, identification or development, and use of suitable institutional partnerships to support the in-country capacity building initiatives. Targeted programmes are required that are intended for hastening the development of local institutional capacity and relevant local human capital in these new economic growth points,” Kandji-Murangi told management at the first anniversary of Namibia University of Science and Technology satellite campus in Eenhana.


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