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University hits back at Simataa over courses

Written by on June 10, 2024

The International University of Management’s pro-vice chancellor for administration and management, Hendrina Udjombala, says the IUM’s courses are compliant with National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) requirements.

She was responding to criticism raised by the secretary to the Cabinet, George Simataa, who last week said IUM and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) are offering the wrong courses.

Simataa also claimed IUM’s courses were not registered with the NCHE.

“As far as we are concerned, we are in compliance with NCHE and NQA regulations and policies. Simataa must verify his claims …

“We are registered with the NCHE as an institution, and our programmes are all registered with the NQA,” Udjombala says.

Simataa last week said the NCHE should ensure institutions of higher learning are registered and offer appropriate courses.

He said IUM is registered to offer management courses, but is currently offering science and technology courses, including medicine.

Simataa said this during the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) annual general meeting at Oshakati on Wednesday.

“Similarly, Nust, given its mandate, cannot be offering management courses, since it is a science and technology institute. These are serious public service delivery challenges that need attention,” he said.

Simataa further said access to water and sanitation has become a fundamental human rights issue.

“NamWater supplies water, in bulk, to industries, government institutions, municipalities, local authorities and commercial entities, while local authorities supply water to residents of various cities, towns, village councils and settlements across the country,” he said.

Simataa said the government has made significant progress in extending water coverage across the country, reaching above 90% nationally and 80% in rural areas since independence.

“However, challenges remain, and we must be resolute to ensure that every Namibian is provided with water of adequate quantity and acceptable quality.

“I therefore appeal to NamWater and local authorities to ensure that we regard water as a fundamental human right and that it is available to citizens at an affordable price,” he said.

He said that access to safe, affordable and suitable housing, including land, is a fundamental human need and a cornerstone of a thriving society.

“Therefore, the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) should find alternative ways to finance and construct affordable housing for citizens of this country to significantly reduce the housing backlog.

“It is unheard of that the NHE stays over two months without constructing a single dwelling,” he said.

Louise Shixwameni, the deputy executive director of finance and public enterprises, said many SOEs have improved.

“Many of the SOEs were in the past not able to produce their annual audits, but today many of them are complying and their audit books are in order,” she said.

NCHE deputy director for policy planning and research Bertha Njembo says IUM’s programmes are not registered with the council, but rather with the NQA.
“Our system requires that programmes are registered or accredited before offering them, but by the time we started registering institutions of higher learning, we could not register IUM because they already had their courses running.

“We could not accredit any of their courses until their accreditation with the NQA lapses. At the moment they have to maintain their accreditation with the NQA,” she says.

Njembo says the NCHE has so far registered all public institutions of higher learning, such as Nust, the University of Namibia and private institutions of higher learning such as IUM will have to wait until their accreditation with the NQA lapses.

Nust deputy vice chancellor Andrew Niikondo says he does not think Simataa actually meant that the two universities are not offering the right courses, adding that the comment was taken out of context.

“I do not think Simataa meant that. You must have taken it out of context,” he says.

The post University hits back at Simataa over courses appeared first on The Namibian.

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