WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday encouraged the University of Namibia (Unam) to focus more on quality, particularly with regard to programmes and courses that have a direct impact on the education system.
Speaking at Unam’s 20th anniversary celebrations, which coincided with the opening of the university’s annual cultural festival, Pohamba said the quality of education should be raised all the way from kindergarten until Grade 12.
This was the first time the President addressed the Unam staff and students as Chancellor of the university since he took over the chancellorship from former President Sam Nujoma last year.
“We would like to see our learners who graduate from Grade 12 and qualify to enter university education to graduate without difficulty as a result of the firm foundation they got from our schools,” he said.
The Head of State added that in order to achieve that, the country requires good teachers at all levels of primary and secondary education who can teach learners to excel in subjects such as English, mathematics and science which learners have struggled with over the years.
Pohamba also said it is a well-known fact that the next era will be characterised by the use of computers and the applications of science and technology, and said there is need to prepare Namibian children for that eventuality. This, he said, can only be managed if technology is taken into all households.
“I challenge our university and other tertiary institutions in our country to come up with ideas for cheaper gadgets such as computers for use by our learners,” he noted, adding that there is no reason why Grade One learners should not use computers while learning.
The Head of State further indicated that the university, which merged with colleges of education around the country last year, should strive to train good teachers because doing so would have a multiplier effect.
“We want good teachers in both science and humanities. We want artists as much as we need scientists for our country to develop,” he demanded, before reminding the audience about the saying that from one to which much has been given, much is expected.
“There has been no shortage of support from Government, members of the public or from our friends at home or abroad as Unam evolved over the years,” he noted.
The event was attended by former President and former Unam Chancellor Dr Nujoma, Deputy Minister of Education David Namwandi, Cabinet Ministers, members of the diplomatic community accredited to Namibia and members of the public.
The cultural festival kicked off at the Unam Sport Stadium on Wednesday and ends on Saturday.