KEETMANSHOOP – A group of final-year diesel mechanic students at the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt)’s Keetmanshoop campus staged a peaceful demonstration earlier this week to express unhappiness with their instructor.
Reading out their petition, Lukas Naatangwe Gebhard explained that they registered at the campus on September 2 hoping to receive the best of services.
“We were informed then by Peter Hartung (senior instructor) to put our choice of instructors we want in writing to the management,” he said. According to the spokesperson, they prefer Onno Nghidileko as their lecturer since he has trained them since first-year level and furthermore has a proven track record in terms of results obtained by his students.
“To our disappointment, a day later the principal (Eugene Bingham) informed us that we have no choice but to be given a specific trainer (John James Erasmus) as was decided by the Nimt management,” Gebhard revealed with dismay.
He said Erasmus told them that it was his first time training at this level and that he first needed more exposure, suggesting to be trained together with the final-year students by Nghidileko in order to gain the needed experience before training final-year diesel mechanic students.
“We also requested for the possibility for us to be transferred to other campuses of Nimt if we cannot be trained by the only capable trainer,” he elaborated.
Gebhard added that their request was however denied and that they were further informed to rather get their registration monies back and leave the campus as an alternative.
He said that they were then promised by the principal to be afforded the services of an outside trainer to further strengthen and capacitate them for the upcoming trade tests.
Gebhard in conclusion raised concern that there are only five weeks remaining prior to them undertaking the trade test, with still no amicable solution found for their burning issue.
When approached for comment, the institute’s principal Eugene Bingham explained that in accordance with laid down regulations of the institute it is the prerogative of lecturers to indicate what level of the training programme they want to facilitate in the respective departments prior to the commencement of a given semester.
“It was based on this that Erasmus is now the instructor for the final-year diesel mechanic students,” he elaborated.
The principal said that all lecturers in the diesel mechanic division are equally trained and have the appropriate experience, thus ruling out the argument of competency levels. Bingham furthermore confirmed that an outside instructor would come on board soon to assist the students with final preparations for their upcoming trade tests.