The ruling party’s youth league wants the children of the liberation struggle, better known as ‘Struggle kids’, to be absorbed into vocational training centres, receive a monthly stipend as well as be guaranteed employment after training.
The children of the liberation struggle have been at crossroads with the government for several years now over job demands. Although some took up government’s offer to go for training, a big number of them refused to go for training in order to obtain skills. Some claim they are too old to be trained, and are therefore only interested in getting jobs.
The group has been a thorn in the flesh of government with their unending demands for employment and they have also threatened public peace with their sporadic demonstrations on the outskirts of Windhoek.
SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary, Ephraim Nekongo, cautioned the group that their unwillingness to go for training is hampering their chances of landing a job.
Nekongo was responding to questions relating to finding a lasting solution to the struggle kids saga.
In addition Nekongo stated that “there is actually no job that does not need to be studied for as each job requires training with suggestions such as taking the struggle kids through rehabilitation before training. They are expected to be trained to sensitize them so that they realize what the future holds for them.
It is also a way of instilling a sense of belonging to the community where it focuses mainly on transforming them into a better people. Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) should also be engaged and capacitated to ensure that there is effective and clear skills transfer and knowledge base development, he said”.
He further added that a monthly stipend should be given to the struggle kids for their basic needs, all accommodation costs should be incurred by the Government and an enterprise to absorb them based on skills should be thought of. The Ministry of Works and Transport must have a start-up pack for those interested in starting their own businesses after training.
He said “the employment sector both public and private require skilled people or a skilled work force before they are employed.”
Nekongo said those who refuse to go for training will not meet employment entry requirements which becomes a problem because no company wants invaluable personnel who often becomes a burden on the company.
The main issue with the children of the liberation struggle is decent employment, said Nekongo, adding that he does not see anything more significant beyond them wanting employment.
Nekongo further indicated that SPYL has come up with counter solutions which will enable them[SPYL] to identify how best it can engage and fill the gap between the needs of the struggle kids and the industry.
“The bottom line is capacitating them with skills and knowledge, we must classify them in three categories, category A – skilled and employable which includes graduates from various institutions, category B – can read and write with grade 8 to12 and as well as category C – cannot read and write for both those with and without talents,” he said.
He highlighted that the SPYL will also continue to engage all stakeholders to encourage training for employment as it is the only way.
Last year about 200 struggle kids camped at Zoo Park demanding an explanation as to why they have to undergo civic training as they fail to see the importance of it and instead want employment from government.
Civic training is one of three programmes offered by the National Youth Service that includes improving discipline among trainees, inculcating a sense of patriotism and developing them into individuals with good physical and mental endurance, exemplary moral and ethical character, and integrity.