WINDHOEK: Around 250 students from the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC) on Wednesday marched to the Ministry of Education (MoE) in the city under Namibian Police escort to deliver a petition listing their grievances.
The WVTC students on Wednesday staged a lockout at the centre to express their unhappiness with the management of the training facility.
The students are claiming in their petition that their Government grants are being mismanaged by the WVTC management.
Some of the issues raised were that they are being given transport allowances, but hardly benefit from these allowances, and that they are also forced to pay registration and examination fees while these should be covered by the Government grants.
Another issue is the accommodation at the VTC, which they say is not up to standard.
The students claimed that they do not get value for their money as they have to pay N.dollars 450 per month for accommodation, but are then forced to stay in overcrowded houses at the centre.
The units are supposed to house three students each, but currently some house up to nine students, with some forced to share their beds with up to two other individuals.
The petition was handed over to the Deputy Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi, who assured the group that the MoE will look into the matter.
The students were left with egg on their faces when Namwandi invited members of the centre’s Student Representative Council (SRC) for closed-door discussions, only to learn that the students had gotten rid of the council and have no formal representatives.
The deputy minister, however, gave the assurance that he will take up the matter with all relevant parties like the WVTC management and the Namibia National Students’ Organisation (Nanso) before reporting back to the aggrieved students.
The students indicated that they will return to the centre, but will continue with the lockout until they get satisfactory answers from Government.