Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi’s plot to disband the Namibian Training Authority was rejected by the Cabinet Committee on Overall Policy and Priorities (CCOPP) a week ago, The Patriot can reveal. “Her proposal was not met well by most committee members. She wants to abolish NTA and introduce a centre of excellence that will in all likelihood be managed and run by a foreign institution,” the source said. An overwhelming majority of the members in the committee objected to the proposal, a source privy to last Friday’s meeting said. The CCOPP is the only committee in which the President serves(chair) where he is joined by the Vice-President, Prime Minister , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Ministry of Safety and Security, Minister of Finance, Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning commission and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Kandjii-Murangi however denied the existence of a plan to abolish NTA when approached this week. This denial comes despite a well-placed source having informed this publication that Kandjii-Murangi made a submission to dismantle the NTA. At this point in time, the source indicated that the centre of excellence would be managed by Limkokwing University. Limkokwing, sometimes referred to as ‘LUCT’ has a presence across Africa, Europe and Asia. When Kandjii-Murangi was contacted to confirm or deny the abovementioned proposal by her ministry, she said: “It (plan to abolish NTA) is not true.” “The minister was asked to present research findings on how the ministry resolved to do away from NTA, she could not present any findings,” said the source. To the contrary, however, The Patriot has further established that Kandjii-Murangi could not substantiate as to whether the centre of excellence would be feasible and ideal replacement for NTA. There are also talks that the minister also has plans to merge all parastatals in her ministry under one umbrella.
Kandjii-Murangi further denied talks that her ministry intends to unify all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) falling the higher education ministry under one umbrella SOE, but mentioned that some SOEs are ‘fragmented’. Kandjii-Murangi said: “The SOEs have different mandates. And that (unification of all SOEs) cannot be possible. Those that belong together, for instance human resource development, those that fall in the human resource development armpit, obviously if there is a need going forward as we continue to engage and review on the different SOEs, they need to be amalgamated and focus on human resource development in our country rather than being fragmented and segmented as they are.” She further added: “And those that deal with education at lower level [for example], again we need to look at them closely and see to it that really we don’t have too many things (SOEs) that are doing the same thing. The overlaps are there, everyone is seeing that. We need to look at them strategically and see how best to bring all those (SOEs) that seem to be doing the same thing to be together.”
Last year this newspaper reported that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation has proposed sweeping changes to the country’s vocational training sector-a process which could see Limkokwing entering the country assured of red carpet treatment which entails a guaranteed yearly income of N$39 million in tuition fees, land to build a campus, exemptions from customs duties of educational related items supplied and the luxury of having the ministry facilitating visa applications for international staff employed by the university. Critics at the time questioned the proposed move while others are wary of the decision to partner with a private university instead of strengthening the existing vocational institutions in the country. The ministry was hell-bend to enter into a “strategic partnership” with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology as it finalizes a swathe of measures it has identified to transform the vocational training system.