The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) held its annual graduation ceremonies over two legs recently. A record number of 466 students graduated this year.
Speaking at the Windhoek ceremony which took place at the Nampower Convention centre, Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Becky Ndjoze -Ojo congratulated the graduates and wishing them well in starting off this new chapter in their careers.
“The Ministry was established with a three-fold mandate; to train and to innovate and thereby to drive Namibia’s transformation into an industrialised nation that offers equal opportunities. A Namibia that is in harmony with itself , and that is developed by its own human resources towards global competitiveness as envisioned in Vision 2030.”
Following hot on the heels of the Windhoek event was the Ongwediva ceremony at the ever popular Bennie’s Entertainment Park. Packed to capacity with proud ululating parents and friends, graduates received their awards with grace and a deep sense of satisfaction and pride.
Teaching is a calling and a teacher is required to use his or her brain intensively to be able to unlock each individual learner’s full potential.
This was said by Gerhard Ndafenongo, Oshana Region’s deputy director of education responsible for programs and quality assurance.
Approximately 250 IOL students were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates in various fields of education and policing.
Addressing policing graduates Ndafenongo expressed the hope that they would play a role in solving some of the most worrying and mysterious crimes.
To the graduating teachers, he said that teaching is not a walk in the park. “It is a continual struggle to create opportunities for success and improve livelihoods,” he said.
He warned the graduates against the tendency of becoming a teacher simply because it feels comfortable or because of a fairly good salary.
He referred to Lutheran and Catholic missionaries who introduced literacy and numeracy in the northern regions more than a hundred years go saying they were an excellent example of self sacrifice for the benefit of the wider society.
“Those missionaries did not have a pay slip,” he said.
He said he was impressed by the number of this year’s IOL graduates and expressed the hope that they would make a positive contribution in the society. “There are children out there who are waiting for that teacher who will change their lives, lift them up and give them confidence to act as an equal to anyone else in this world.”
He invited them to apply for jobs in the public service whenever vacancies are advertised. “We do not discriminate,” he said.
The ceremony was successfully concluded with a networking lunch with invited guests and colleagues from the IOL Ongwediva office. Graduates used the opportunity to capture this memorable day with some pictures taken with their loved ones.