WINDHOEK - Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) Head of Strategy, Research, Quality Assurance and Stakeholders, Mberipura Hifitikeko has said the institution awarded scholarships to 378 students from financially challenged backgrounds.
Hifitikeko speaking to New Era yesterday said the scholarships to the value of close to N$280 000 were awarded to 122 Grade 10 and 256 Grade 12 students.
In addition, Hifitikeko said in conjunction with NamPower and Namcor, the college partially awarded scholarships to 17 students to a total value of N$51 110.00.
“This scholarship programme has always been administered internally, but for the past two years, Namcol availed the funds to the 14 regional councils to broaden more access,” he explained.
This new strategy, Hifitikeko said places the responsibility of the identification and nomination of needy scholarship recipients to the regional councils.
He indicated that, the rationale behind the transfer of responsibility for the handling of scholarships is that the institution believes that councillors work closely with their communities and they are best fit to ensure that the funds support legitimate needy students through constituency structures.
Through this strategy, Hifitikeko explained that the regional councillors facilitate the application process at constituency levels and a committee is established at regional council level to review the applications and make nominations of successful applicants to Namcol.
Further, he emphasised that, the college drafted a framework to guide the identification and nomination process.
To qualify for the scholarship, Hifitikeko said an applicant’s combined household income must not exceed N$3 000.00 while preference is granted to orphans.
“We sign a formal agreement with the beneficiaries to ensure that recipients take a high level of responsibility for their studies including attending tutorials and submitting assignments,” he said, adding that regional councillors are also requested to inform and facilitate the application process within their constituencies.
Hifitikeko said the due date has been extended to 15 November 2019 to allow enough time for the finalisation of the evaluations and awards by the end of November this year, so that students can readily have their award letters on time for enrolment scheduled to start on 20 January 2020.
At the end of the application process, he said the regional council are expected to establish evaluation committees to review all applications and submit nomination forms to Namcol.
“The evaluation committee should ensure compliance with the set criteria and be accountable and transparent,” he stressed.
Hifitikeko further stressed that this scholarship programme is only designed to pay for Namcol tuition and that students are expected to make their own arrangements and payments for examination registration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
He said in the 2020 academic year, the college has made a provision of N$300 000.00 for scholarships.
“With the phasing out of Grade 10 in the new curriculum in 2020, N$230 000.00 will only go towards Grade 12 and N$70 000.00 will support tertiary students.”
Hifitikeko recognises that the funds might of course not be enough to support all prospective applicants, thus, he appeals to the regional councils, corporates and individuals to supplement the funds and hopefully sponsor more students.
2019-10-18 07:49:08 | 9 months ago