WINDHOEK – The division of marginalised communities within the Office of the Vice President revealed that the government has so far assisted about 900 marginalised learners enrolled at various tertiary institutions. The division of marginalised communities has implemented an education support programme since 2005 as a tool aimed at providing financial, moral and psychosocial support to learners and students from marginalised communities (San, Ovatjimba and Ovatue et al) at all educational levels in Namibia.
The executive director within the Office of the Vice President, Abraham Iilonga, said the programme has served as a vehicle in the marginalised communities’ quest towards educational prosperity and overall achievement of socio-economic integration.
He said the programme has been admitting beneficiaries from these communities annually.
He further explained that the programme currently supports more than 900 beneficiaries from various educational institutions such as the University of Namibia (Unam), the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), the International University of Management (IUM), vocational training centres, Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) and secondary and primary schools countrywide.
According to him, these learners and students are receiving assistance for the 2019 academic year.
Furthermore, he said the education support programme assists in paying tuition fees, hostel fees, transport and a monthly allowance for toiletries and other educational necessities.
“This programme has proven to be a medium of hope towards personal career development ambitions and prosperity of the marginalised communities by ensuring an increased representation and eventual integration into the country’s socio-economic mainstream,” Iilonga noted.
The division of marginalised communities says that with the minimal resources allocated to the education component of the programme, the government would like to see all the current learners and students on the support programme complete their studies successfully.
The government also indicated that the programme will only cater for 10 beneficiaries per region as new intakes for the 2020 academic year to ensure effective implementation.
Iilonga said as of next year the selection process would be restricted to marginalised learners who are currently in Grade 12 and who are on the programme for 2019.
He said other prospective applicants from the marginalised communities are encouraged to apply for admission directly at institutions of higher learning and for financial assistance from the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and other institutions for the 2020 academic year.