Berg Aukas Programme to Continue

TRAINING programmes at the Berg Aukas centre in Grootfontein will continue, despite the contracts of the Nigerian instructors coming to an end this week.

Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo, gave the assurance last week, when he allayed fears that the programme involving 360 Namibian youths would be suspended.

Ekandjo said the two-year non-renewable contracts for the 29 Nigerian instructors, who were running the programmes, have ended and they will be returning home.

“The programme has not been suspended,” said Ekandjo, explaining that a team from his ministry will accompany the instructors to Nigeria to conduct interviews for the next group of instructors.

He further said the Namibian high commission in Nigeria and the Nigerian government, which is paying the instructors who come to Namibia, will assist with the interviews.

Some officials had previously criticised the ministry for doing little to nothing to train Namibians to take over the running of the programme.

The group of Nigerian trainers who are going back are the second of such groups.

Sources said the first group also served for two years without training Namibians to take over.

Buba Gure, who is in charge of the programme, said students will go on a two-week break followed by a six-week attachment at various companies to gain practical experience. In the meantime, the next group of instructors would be arriving from Nigeria.

The programme started after the National Youth Service stopped using Berg Aukas, and the ministry took over the facilities left by the NYS.

The ministry then enrolled youths who had dropped out of the formal education sector for vocational training as long as they could read and write.

They are put on a year’s programme to give them practical skills training. Those who went further in school get more aanced training. The aim, according to Gure, is to give those youths a chance to get employment or work for themselves.

“This gives them hope,” he said adding that some graduates of the programme are now employed on government agricultural projects.

Gure added that the next group of instructors will include medical staff for the centre and sports instructors so that a sports component is added to the programme.

He also said the ministry has started a capacity building programme to enable Namibians to take over as instructors in future.

Source : The Namibian