THE Institute for Open Learning (IOL) has appointed the education stalwart Ilana Calitz as their new Chief Executive Officer. She has been at the helm of IOL as Head: Education. IOL also appointed Hipa Murangi as Deputy CEO.
Last year a total of 939 students graduated, cementing IOL as one of the largest private distance education institutions in Namibia. IOL ensures that access to higher education is not limited to only the few who can afford to study on a full-time basis. It’s online platforms and state-of-the-art academic administration systems ensure that Namibians have access to quality higher education.
The story of IOL’s Illana Calitz and Hipa Murangi is one of perseverance, hard work, and dedication. From humble beginnings in mid-level positions, Student Support Manager and Trainer for basic computer skills, they worked their way up through the ranks, honing their skills and gaining invaluable experience at managing Namibia’s foremost, private distance education institution along the way.
As they moved up the ladder, they never lost sight of their values and principles. The management team remained committed to putting the needs of the company, its employees, and students first, leading with integrity, and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.
Their journey was not without challenges, but they always rose to the occasion, learning from their experiences and emerging stronger and more resilient.
“As I take on this new role, I am excited to work alongside my fellow executives, including the newly appointed deputy CEO. Together, we will continue to build on the legacy of this great company and ensure that it remains a leader in its field for many years to come,” Calitz said.
ABOUT THE NEW APPOINTEES: Ilana Calitz has a proven track record in basic education, higher education and vocational training in the private sector. She is a strategic and innovative thinker with strong decision-making abilities and excellent networking, interpersonal and communication skills. She has more than 24 years’ experience working in diverse educational positions and has gained extensive insight within this field. After graduating with a B.Prim. Ed degree in 1999 from the University of Stellenbosch, she taught at schools in Namibia for a decade before joining the Trustco Group in 2008. She was subsequently appointed as Head of Education in 2011. Over the course of her 15-year tenure at this distance education institution, she spearheaded the introduction of several tailor-made teaching and policing qualifications specific to Namibia, all of which received accreditation from the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA). Ilana works closely with relevant regulators, such as the NQA, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), to ensure that the qualifications met acceptable standards, that the institution had the capacity to deliver these qualifications, and that quality assessment of student performance was maintained at a high level.
As ICT COO, Hipa Murangi supervised the development, implementation, and maintenance of IOL’s technology systems and processes, providing students with training and development opportunities to stay current with technology trends. Throughout his career at Trustco, supporting senior management has been a significant aspect of his roles. Serving on the Trustco
junior board was a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth, allowing him to gain management experience and develop leadership skills. He also served as the Chairman of the Association for Private Higher Education Institutions, Namibia (APHEIN).