Fake educational institutions thrive this time, warns NQA

Home National Fake educational institutions thrive this time, warns NQA

WINDHOEK- The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has warned prospective students to be careful, saying this time of the year, bogus institutions are hard at work to scam the public their hard-earned cash for worthless qualifications.

During this time of the year, many former Grade 12 students who qualified for tertiary education are busy looking for high learning institutions to pursue their studies in preparation for job market. 

This is also the time where many unaccredited institutions take chances and start advertising their teaching activities under the pretext that they have been recognised by the NQA.

In an interview yesterday with NQA chief executive officer, Franz Gertze said, the number of learners completing Grade12 is increasing and accredited providers are also constant. 

“Therefore, the need for accredited institutions is high and that when bogus institutions thrive. Students, parents and funders should be more careful especially this time of the year because people come to them with promises saying ‘their prices are the lowest and all kind of excuses’,” he warned. 

He cautioned the public not to fall into bogus institutions’ traps but rather consult the NQA booklet enlisting all the accredited institutions in Namibia to avoid being ripped off their hard-earned cash.

Asked if they received any complaints from the public on bogus colleges, Gertze said they received a complaint of a private school offering high school classes based in Okahandja where parents are uncertain if its accredited.
In this regard, he explained he directed the complaint to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to look into the matter.
However, he revealed there is a specific bogus college in Windhoek and the NQA is busy investigating its activities to ensure students don’t fall victim.

He said since the school curriculum has changed, the NQA will work a lot closer with all the accredited providers to ensure that the changes for schools does not negatively affect or leave a vacant for universities. 
“That’s our big agenda for the year,” he said.

In December, NQA Manager for Marketing and Communications Catherine Shipushu said they recently observed with concern, a number of unaccredited institutions shamelessly advertising their programmes for 2019. 
Of greater concern, she said they have noted that some are even fraudulently using the NQA name to lure unsuspecting learners to their institutions. 

According to her, the challenge posed by unaccredited institutions is that due to the fact that they are not quality assured, it is impossible to validate the quality of the educational programmes and thus the employability of graduates from those institutions. 

“The continued existence of these unaccredited institutions contributes to increased flooding of the labour market with unemployable graduates,” she remarked.

She indicated in the interest of protecting the integrity of Namibian qualifications and to prevent people from being swindled into studying for fake qualifications, the NQA strongly advices all prospective learners to always study at accredited institutions by verifying their accreditation status prior to enrolment. 

Further she advised it is important for the public to note that the NQA does not evaluate qualifications obtained at unaccredited institutions and such qualifications will not be recognised for any purpose, be it employment or further studies. She believes studying at an unaccredited institution is essentially a waste of precious time and money.
Following its meeting at the end of November 2018, the NQA Council has granted accreditation to two additional institutions. 

For a list of current and newly accredited institutions, learners are advised to consult the updated list of accredited Namibian institutions to ascertain any changes to the scopes of accreditation. The updated list is available to view and download on the NQA website (www.namqa.org).

Equally, prospective learners are advised to verify the accreditation status of all institutions of higher learning operating in Namibia that have been found to have capacity to offer specified courses at the appropriate level of quality.  
Shipushu said it is critically important for learners to verify the accreditation status of both the institution and the specific course they would like to pursue.