NQA Gears up for 2015
06 Jan 2015
The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) is positioning itself for a productive year with increasing public awareness and access topping the institution's list of goals.

For Namibia to attain its objective to become an industrialised nation by 2030, it is imperative for the country to produce an appropriately skilled and educated workforce. Education, and by extension, qualifications is the first step towards sustainable socio-economic development and attain­ing national objectives. As such, quality assurance is critical in education and training as it not only facilitates enhancement of employability of graduates but also ensures that the link between educational outcomes and societal needs is strengthened. It is there­fore the NQA's quest to ensure that all institutions of higher learn­ing in Namibia offer programmes and qualifications that meet the required standards and are aligned with the national developmental goals as outlined in both vision 2030 and NDP 4.

This will require vigorous engagement with and co-operation from relevant stakeholders in the education sector, specifically training providers who are entrust­ed with the responsibility of imparting skills and knowledge to future generations. The NQA thus invites all training providers to proactively apply for accreditation and register all their programmes on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This creates a win-win situation for all parties - the institution achieves status of good standing and operates legally which will inspire public trust and confidence in its programmes and peace of mind for students.

The NQA as the industry regulator is there to protect the public from unscrupulous individuals who are running bogus institutions and mislead­ing the nation. It is for this reason that the NQA implores prospective students to think carefully before enrolling at any institution of higher learn­ing. While a qualification can represent hope for economic emancipation and a better future, that dream can turn into a nightmare if that qualification is attained from an unaccredited institution. People should not be misled by certain institutions that spend thousands of dollars advertising on radio and full page adverts in the newspapers - all the while offer­ing unregistered qualifications that are not worth the paper it is printed on. The only way to be absolutely sure of the legal status of any institution in Namibia or abroad is through verification and confirmation by the NQA.

On a quarterly basis, after each council meeting, the NQA releas­es a list containing all the accredited institutions of higher learning in Namibia. The importance of this is to empower the public with information which enables it to make informed decisions when enrolling at institutions of higher learning. It is thus crucial for the public to be aware that if an institution is not on that list, it is not regarded as of good standing and its qualifications will thus not be evaluated by the NQA. The latest list is available from the NQA website,www.namqa.org.

NQA evaluation and recognition of qualifications is important for various reasons and as such is a crucial key to employment and academic achievement. For instance, most prospective employers often stipulate academic requirements at specific levels on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which can only be determined through the evaluation of qualifications by the NQA. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for most universities and colleges when applying for further studies both in Namibia and abroad.
One of the NQA's strategic goals this year is to take the institution and its services to the people. With increasing demand for higher education, coupled with the growing threat of qualifications fraud, it has become increasingly important for the NQA to become more visible, known and accessible to the public. In order to achieve this, the authority will be rolling out aggressive public education interventions to be carried out through­out the country and in both the mainstream and social media. The ultimate goal is to increase public aware­ness and knowledge of the NQA and most importantly of the role the authority plays in ensuring that all qualifications offered in Namibia are quality assured and meet the set national standards.
Voorgelê deur Republikein op Do, 2015-01-08 13:05