Dr Tjivikua Grumbles Over Inadequate Funding

The Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, criticized the Ministry of Education for returning money to the Treasury last year, while the institution lacks sufficient financial resources.

“If the Ministry (of Education) is not providing appropriate funding to this institution, then the system is indeed failing this and future generations,” Tjivikua said during the 19th graduation ceremony of the Polytechnic of Namibia last Friday.

The Polytechnic of Namibia is to be renamed the Namibia University of Science and Technology in a few months, but the Rector maintains that a well-planned transformation without appropriate resources will remain a transformation in name only.

He said funding for programmes, services, systems and facilities supportive of tuition and the wellbeing of students has been discouraging. A comparison of subsidized funding for higher education institutions in Namibia and South Africa indicates that the Polytechnic is the lowest funded institution.

“It surely cannot be that the education we offer is of so much lesser quality and value then the others’, and it cannot be because of our poor performance and lack of accountability,” he said, adding that they would however not lose hope and would continue to speak out on the issue of funding.

Tjivikua further stressed that to some extend the national system is beset with inefficiencies and inequitable resource allocation, which is stifling growth and innovation at the Polytechnic.

According to him there is a conceptual gap affecting the money supply chain through bureaucracy or the lack of understanding at critical levels of what the institution’s needs are in order to become a university of stature.

The chairperson of the Polytechnic Council, Evelyn Breuer, echoed the Rector’s sentiments, saying the transformation of the Polytechnic to a university has serious implications, especially the provision of appropriate funding for new infrastructure. She said last year they made huge investments to acquire modern teaching aids and facilities and just about every lecture room is equipped with computer technology, smart boards and white and blue boards.

According to her the physical infrastructure was expanded with the completion of the new Health Sciences building and the extension of the faculty of engineering building.

“These developments are bringing temporary relief in a situation where accommodation is getting tight for staff and teaching purposes,” she said.

Source : New Era