Selma Ikela WINDHOEK – Director of the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LARRi) Dr Michael Akuupa said in absence of a national skills audit, it cannot be said that institutions are not producing graduates fit for the market. Akuupa said the audit is needed to determine the needs of the market effectively. These are the remarks of Akuupa regarding whether unemployed graduates were jobless because they studied courses that are no longer relevant or they studied at institutions that are not recognised as best institutions and the quality of education is not good, thus making their chances of getting employment slim. Akuupa explains that the audit analysis will then lead to clear formulation and re-conception of economic policies that will lead to mitigation of the current unemployment situation. Akuupa also stated that the lamentation about skewed skills can also be considered as a perception in absence of the clear proof. “The economy became dual that it caters for formal and an informal sector. Ideally, those that finished school or university wish to be employed in the formal sector where they can work as human resource personnel. However, the formal sector cannot absorb all of them because it has since been shrinking. As a result you find a lot of graduates still looking for jobs they cannot find,” he stated while adding that we cannot conclusively argue that the training institutions are not doing the right training in order to fill the market. He added that another consideration will be for the unemployed youth to be assisted to access programmes and credit schemes so that they can innovate and create employment for others. “The youth should not only aim to be employed persons but to be creators of employment. Their time and skills as spent at training institutions should not be left to go to waste,” he remarked. Akuupa comments also comes after unemployed graduates donning their graduation gowns took to the streets across the country demanding that the government fill vacant posts in the public services. The unemployed graduates asked the government to transform the agricultural sector as the country still imports most of its food from neighbouring countries. The group expected government and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to respond to their plight by Friday last week but that was not done. Affirmative Repositioning activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma told New Era they have not received any response from OPM. Unemployed graduate Tuna Shikongo has asked why the Ministry of Higher Education could not approach universities to put a gap year between courses that had many graduates until they find employment or approach universities and tell them the market is overcrowded and put the courses aside. She agreed that some institutions are not recognised and students go for studies without double-checking with the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA). “The blame can also be placed on graduates for not approaching NQA because we only approach the institutions after we have graduated. Let’s I studied in India and the university I was is recognised in India, but when you come to Namibia you take your qualification to NQA, lets say that qualification is a Level 8 in India but might be downgraded to level 6 because of the quality of qualification not recognised. That is another part were we lose our money and time,” stated Shikongo.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-01 09:39:20 3 months ago