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Opinion - Limkokwing University the only hope for Simon Petrus

2021-11-15  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Limkokwing University the only hope for Simon Petrus
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Simon Petrus, a former learner at Dr Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary, invented a sim-less and free-to-call phone in 2016. 

Unfortunately, due to lack of financial and educational support from public and private sector, universities and vocational training centres, his lucrative project remains a dream. 

His idea is worth billions of dollars that can serve as the solution to the job crisis countrywide. 

Simon Petrus’ trials are worse than what Nicola Tesla experienced during the AC and DC battle between him and Thomas Edison. 

Thomas’ project became successful because of the support he received from the government of USA. Nicola Tesla died in 1943 while working on his wrecked Wardenclyffe Tower that never reached operational status. The tower was planned to provide wireless electrical transmission between continents, which could enable global communities to form ideas and share resources easily.

 Is Limkokwing University the solution to Simon Petrus’ project? Limkokwing University of Creative Technology is a technical and vocational education and training centre. TVET plays significant roles in promoting economic development, expanding employment size, and improving the quality of employment, innovation and entrepreneurship in a developing state such as Namibia. 

After news of Limkokwing University broke the internet in Namibia, a majority celebrated it, before politics came in. At this stage, where Unam is increasing its entry points and NUST school fees continue to rise drastically, students from low-income families would opt to seek educational opportunities from institutions where they will possibly manage to pay their studies and meet the entry requirements.

 After 31 years of independence, Namibia only has three recognised universities, while South Africa has more than 25 public universities. It is a huge embarrassment. Namibia cannot afford to lose such an investment in education, simply because of those who are seeking political advancement. 

It is comical how we have few people fighting the establishment of Limkokwing University. Where were they when Welwitchia Health Training Centre and IUM were being formed? It is very ideal not to include any form of politics in education.  Politics is bound to collapse our already-belligerent education system.  Limkokwing University will not only provide world-class training to our nation; it will also create employment opportunities to our graduates whom government failed to recruit or create job opportunities. The training institution will also act as a magnet to attract highly qualified instructors and lecturers, which is crucial in terms of knowledge and skills.  Limkokwing University is most-likely to revive Simon Petrus’ project. 

The institution can provide scholarships to people like Simon Petrus and Kaleb Sam Shafishuna, who made an aircraft. 

Their projects need educational and monetary support; as an incentive, Limkokwing can offer fully-paid scholarships to those who are from poor backgrounds. 

We have talents here; we have the abilities to manufacture our own products, rather than being a dependent nation that cannot even make a match-stick. 

But the majority of talents are wasted. Capacity development needs to be strengthened – capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives. 

Creative mechanisms and the sim-less cellular could be a threat to major telecommunication firms that will leave them with fear of losing out to the boy. 

Simon Petrus’ project will provide free communication to people that the government, MTC and Telecom neglected. 

Who are those people? 

While other communities are fighting shortage of water, some are battling network connections and clean tap water. 

No matter how deep they are in the bushes, we always locate them when it is time for voting.  We still have places where people are climbing on top of trees for network bars; people work long distances to go report a case of a dead person – people walk kilometres to go to the nearest network tower to call the police to report a missing person’s case. 

The government and all network providers in Namibia failed the nation by failing to provide network coverage in certain rural areas of the country. Would Simon Petrus and MTN be the answer to the network crisis? Should they be given an opportunity to see what they will do?  

 Political figures who are against the establishment of Limkokwing University are selfish people, who are only there to serve their interest by figuring foul plays and using them as an advantage to mislead the nation for political scores. 

The newly-adapted education curriculum has increased the failure rate, and it also affected those who failed grade 10 before it was enforced. 

Limkokwing University, together with other local TVETs, will help to accommodate these children and elders back into proper education to attain skills that will help them play an active role in the development of Namibia. Limkokwing University will not be enough; more training centres still need to be introduced, particularly in rural areas, where we have kids who failed grade 10, 11 and 12, to prevent them from becoming village champions.  Dr Iyambo said he does not want to be idle about the high unemployment rate in the country – and told delegates that he has a problem with dumping a Namibian child on the street.

 Late minister of education advocated for the expansion of more vocational training centres in urban and remote areas for our people to acquire necessary skills to develop Namibia.  Before his departure, he suggested for a mandatory order that every Namibian child who fails grade 10 must not be discharged in the streets but rather be encouraged to undertake vocational training classes to become skilled to play effective roles in the development of our country. 

We have not seen an increase in the supply of skilled workers or new vocational education centres in many of our regions. Many developed countries worldwide are the nations with the best vocational training centres.  This may be proven by Finland because of their exceptional number one colleges and universal training system.

 In July, youth minister Agnes Tjongarero urged the youth to create employment opportunities, and discouraged them from being job seekers. Will the government avail resources and infrastructures for the youth to venture in entrepreneurial activities to create jobs? 

Simon Petrus’ project has the ability to become successful, and it can create massive job opportunities. There are quite a lot of projects being run by youthful people but such projects are about to collapse due to lack of support from the government.  Angel Africa, a fast-growing company that specialises in installing Electronic Security System, is one of the prospective companies that can create job opportunities and help in curbing the unemployment rate. 

Angel Africa sources their products directly from the world-class manufacturers, cutting out middlemen, making their services cheap and affordable by everyone. The government should also try to cut out middlemen from their tenders. The  ministry of education should form a coalition that will help to find struggling talented learners/students and street-kids so they can be taken straight to TVET. Investing in TVET is investing in a nationwide socio-economic development. 

TVET holds the key to technological progress, rapid industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction. 

Namibian governments should, therefore, allocate adequate resources for modernising teaching and learning facilities in TVET institutions, as well as the training and continuous professional development of TVET instructors.

2021-11-15  Staff Reporter

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