GOBABIS: Despite being the only vocational centre in the region, the Omaheke Community Skill Development Centre (COSDEC) is yet to reach its full potential in terms of student numbers.
A COSDEC is a vocational training centre that provides competency-based skills training to various communities throughout Namibia, primarily for youth and the previously disadvantaged groups, to assist them in participating in economic development activities.
The head of the centre, Ellis Tjiueza last week told Nampa that the enrollment figures of students in the Omaheke Region are one of the lowest compared to other similar centres across the country.
He attributed the low enrollment rates to a general lack of interest in further studies amongst learners in the region, with most of them preferring paying jobs as opposed to vocational training.
“Learners or those that did not make the grade and fail to qualify for university admission are more into looking for jobs to support their families and hardly consider further studies, let alone vocational training,” Tjiueza said.
The Omaheke COSDEC hopes to benefit from future interventions coming to the region, and through on-going partner relationships such as with the Gobabis Municipality and the town of Smallingerland in the Netherlands, he stated.
“We are positive that more enrollments at the centre can only be beneficial for the students themselves, as the courses are affordable and can be pursued by anybody regardless of level of education,” he noted.
Tjiueza said their courses are driven by the demands of community members, in order to provide skilled trainees that will be easily absorbed by the market.
“We are now looking at introducing a course on animal husbandry or farming techniques to go with the high demand for agricultural courses in the region,” said the centre Head.
About 40% of the Omaheke Region’s population is less than 15 years old. The high rate of unemployment and learner failures after Grade 10 prompted the opening of a COSDEC in the region.
Omaheke was also the worst performing region during last year’s Grade 10 national examinations.