Veteran educationist Bollen Khama has commended Sunshine Private College – the new kid on the block in the Namibian higher education sector – for straining against incredible odds to produce quality human resources for education.
Khama was the guest of honour at the college’s second graduation ceremony, at which 15 teachers graduated with the post-graduate Diploma in Education, an internationally acclaimed teachers’ qualification, last week.
He noted that although Covid-19 had ravaged the world’s economy and compromised the ability of many institutions to fund their operations, the college had remained steadfast on its mission to “nurture and produce global standard intellectuals for the nation and beyond who possess distinct qualities of expertise, knowledge and commitment”.
The seasoned educationist added: “These distinct qualities actually empower the graduates to critically reflect, analyse, debate with a high degree of confidence, and address major issues for the long-term benefit of the country in particular and for humanity in general.”
Khama stressed that education is not cheap, and implored the private sector to partner with institutions that do not get government funding so that their students can continue to receive quality education.
“For higher education institutions to provide quality education and ensure their sustainability, huge sums of money must be spent. I humbly make a plea to the private sector to come in and assist Sunshine Private College students with grants, loans, bursaries and other schemes so that they can fulfil their dreams,” Khama said.
He made the plea amid reports that some of the college’s students were struggling to pay their modest tuition fees.
Additionally, Khama said Covid-19-induced lockdowns had gravely disrupted the learning of countless learners who could not access online learning which was introduced at the height of the pandemic. He challenged Sunshine Private College graduates and other teachers to “be innovative and treat these (disrupted) learners fairly so that they are at par with others”.
He congratulated two of the graduating teachers who received awards for overall best performance in research and said their achievement “shows the level of effort these graduates and the college put in their professional work”.
Speaking at the same occasion, Sunshine Private College director Nomakando Kangira said her college was driven by the “passion to serve the Namibian nation in education at the highest level”.
“We realised a gap and took it upon ourselves to fill that gap and contribute to the development of this country as stipulated in the National Development Plans leading to the realisation of Vision 2030 and beyond,” Kangira said.
She revealed that her college aspires to transform into “a fully-fledged university” through promoting academic freedom and internationalisation of higher education.
In this respect, Kangira said the college was rigorously forging partnerships with local and external higher education institutions for cross-pollination of ideas and lessons.
“The college, therefore, promotes student and staff mobility when funds permit so that there is cross fertilisation of ideas with students and staff from other higher education institutions across the world,” she said.
Of the 15 teachers that graduated, only three were men.