WINDHOEK: The Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) will from next year onwards offer short courses in various technical fields.
The certificate courses will run for a maximum of six months and include motor-mechanics, plumbing, welding, office administration, pipe-fitting, foundation qualification programmes as well as metal fabrication.
Giving an overview of NAMCOL’s Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programme in the capital on Friday, NAMCOL Director Harold Murangi said the introduction of such courses is to complement efforts by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to expand vocational training education because the tertiary institutions in the country cannot absorb all successful Grade 12 learners.
Murangi said NAMCOL received N.dollars 8.9 million from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to expand vocational training.
Phase Two of the new vocational training programme will be introduced in 2014, and will include panelbeating, spray-painting and hospitality training courses.
Phase Three comprises handyman training, industrial pipe-fitting, agriculture, business and financial services, retail, mining and construction training.
“We will give learners the theory, and will send them out to companies for practicals,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Murangi noted that NAMCOL is currently faced with a poor public perception of ODL, socio-economic conditions of learners, lack of parental support and learner attendance.
Other challenges include dependence on formal education teachers, fluctuating demand, lower grades, attracting more male learners, insufficient support from some stakeholders and pathways for NAMCOL graduates.