By Megameno Shikwambi
The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) has commenced with a search after students who graduated long ago at the Technical Vocational Training centres to gauge whether they are gainfully employed or not.
This was disclosed by NTA’s chief executive officer, Jerry Beukes who has commenced a tracer survey on the former graduates.
He said they were carrying out retrospective analyses of the graduates using the standardized research methodology which takes place sometime after graduation.
“Not only do such an analyses give a unique perspective by providing evidence on what has been longer term changes in the lives of graduates, tracer studies also show if and how specific strategic interventions contribute to such changes that may be observed,” he said.
This activity is being carried out in collaboration with the ministry of higher education, training and innovation together with the NTA.
“Because we expect such retrospective analyses to review change and evolution in the situation of a sample of graduates of our TVeT and we do so because we want to accurately measure and understand such change by generating and sourcing empirical evidence to this effect and not anecdotal evidence based on hearsay and second hand sources
Empirical evidence that can help us in answering the many questions we have. Where are our graduates today? How many are indeed actively and gainfully employed? How many are not employed? How many have progressed to further studies and higher qualification levels? What challenges are they facing up there?” said Beukes.
Beukes said the survey is further meant to enable NTA to make informed decisions about the vocational educational sector as well as enriching planning by hearing from the graduates themselves.
NTA will further learn about the work they have done and how this has contributed to leveraging sustainable growth and economic development as well as social inclusion.
GIZ’s Silke Partner said her organisation was appreciative of several approaches to improve the quality of TVeT training in Namibia.
“So far the analyses of TVeT innovation has been limited in the current TVeT system and there is currently a big push from the ministry’s side as well as all the TVeT institutions in the country that we observed, to build up their research capacity in TVeT that has been neglected in the past in so many countries and integrating them into the labour market system here in Namibia.
The dialogue mechanisms will contribute to an articulation of the TVeT knowledge base and the main benefit of the systemic innovation approach in the system.
It can also help government as well as other stakeholders to have a comprehensive knowledge and evidence base of how the TVeT system works,” said Partner.
She added that the project presented for both the NTA and the ministry an opportunity to continue building the sector and providing crucial data on graduates for better future skills planning.
“With introducing a comprehensive TVeT graduate tracing system which is also the aim, so we do not stop at the survey, we are also looking at how there can be a continuous tracing of students,” she said.
Higher education executive director, Dr. Raimo Naanda said the idea behind the partnership with NTA is to prioritize and invest in technical and vocational skills development that is strong and convincing and stems from the recognition of TVeT as a source of skills, knowledge and technology to drive productivity.
“This TVeT tracer study focusses on trainees who graduated at level one to five at training institutions country-wide from 2015 to 2017 of which the key objectives include the following: Sourcing information about the quality of TVeT programs, obtaining information on the transition of graduates into the labour market
It goes without saying that the data outcomes of this study are crucial for us as policy makers in the TVeT sector not only in view of our ongoing transformational agenda, but as part of our important strategic endeavor to secure a sustainable partnership with industry and stakeholders,” said Naanda.
Manager for research and planning at NTA Indongo Indongo said they have witness a reintroduction of apprenticeships and a lot of media advocacy to change perceptions on vocational education.
“TVeT should not be a second option but should be the first, “ he said.