Nujoma Defends Grade 12 Failures Studying Medicine in China

Justice Minister, Utoni Nujoma yesterday said he does not see anything wrong with Namibians who have failed Grade 12 pursuing medical studies abroad.

Parliament yesterday reserved time to discuss a story in yesterday’s edition of New Era in which it was reported that hordes of Namibians, who have failed Grade 12, are enrolled for medical studies at Chinese universities.

The story sparked debate on social networks, with members of the public fearing that the country’s medical fraternity would be riddled with bogus ‘medical doctors’ – which in turn could compromise the provision of quality medical services in the country.

Medicine is one of the critical academic fields, with 35 points in Grade 12 usually the minimum requirement. Students with 25 points in six subjects may be admitted at Namibian universities, but would not be admitted to certain fields, including medicine.

Some Namibian students with as few as six points in Grade 12 are now studying medicine in China, something that raffled feathers among local observers.

It is also feared that these students might struggle for recognition in Namibia upon their return to the country, which would make the search for jobs difficult.

Discussing the matter in parliament yesterday, Minister Nujoma said there was nothing wrong with Namibia’s matric failures studying medicine in China.

His remarks were made in response to DTA MP, Katuutire Kaura’s question on what government’s position is on New Era’s report regarding this group of Namibians in China.

“What is wrong with that?” asked Nujoma. “If the institutions on the other side have low requirements then what is wrong with it?”

His reaction prompted NUDO MP, Arnold Tjihuiko, to rise and question government’s seriousness on the matter.

“It is serious and dangerous at the same time to say that there is nothing wrong with someone who scored 20 points to study medicine in China,” the NUDO lawmaker said.

“These are people who did not qualify to do medicine in Namibia and I am sure they will not be allowed to practise medicine in China. These are also the very same people who will come back and treat our people.”

Nujoma also claimed that the reason the country lacks people in several fields such as social workers, pharmacists and teachers is because Namibians are not interested.

But Tjihuiko reacted: “That is an insult to our unemployed people. The problem is that government does not provide scholarship opportunities, if the opportunities were provided our people would take it.”

Tjihuiko called on government to adopt a sector strategy and come up with incentives for unemployed people to venture into sectors where Namibian lacks skills.

Source : New Era