Students Selected to Study Hospitality in Zim

Twenty-two Namibian students were awarded financial assistance yesterday through the Namibia Students Financial Fund (NSFAF) special initiative to study hospitality management in Zimbabwe.

The beneficiaries are expected to leave next Tuesday.

The move follows NSFAF’s collaboration with the Southern Africa Hospitality Training Company, a five-star private institution registered with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education of Zimbabwe.

According to NSFAF senior marketing and communications manager, Percy Tjahere, it has been established that most graduates from local vocational centres in Namibia have limited choice to further their studies at technical level as the majority of these students compete for places in South Africa. Hence, a decision was taken for NSFAF to explore other countries, particularly other SADC countries for possible placement of Namibian students in the field of vocational education to fill the skills gap in the country.

Thus, a visit to institutions in Zimbabwe was initiated to look at alternative institutions for possible placement of Namibian students, which culminated in the collaboration between NSFAF and the hospitality training institution, which is recognised and accredited by the Zimbabwean Qualification Authority to train the sponsored Namibians in the hospitality and culinary arts.

There has been public concern over certain Namibians who have taken up educational opportunities at unaccredited educational institutions abroad, Zimbabwe included, but often find themselves on the streets upon their return home because their qualifications do not meet the country’s standards.

In this regard, Tjahere said the training institute is recognised and has partnered with many other well-established institutions to train students in the hospitality industry.

Such partners, he noted, include the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, City and Guilds, Ethiopia Aviation School and International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.

The students who were selected from all walks of life will do their internship and further work in an integrated learning environment in Zimbabwe, as the institution owns required facilities such as a bar and restaurant for trainees where they will serve breakfast and lunch daily.

“We are convinced that by the time these students complete their studies, they will be ready to find employment in Namibia,” said Tjahere.

Some students will study towards a three-year Diploma in International Hospitality Management and others an 18 month Diploma in Culinary Arts.

The sponsorship forms part of a loan which covers a monthly stipend of U$200 (living expenses and transport), medical insurance, accommodation related utility costs as per terms and conditions, air fare (when departing and returning upon completion of studies), visa application, visa processing payment and medical insurance while in the host country.

NSFAF officials will accompany the students to ensure they settle in well especially with their travel and study permit applications.

The students, some of whom own small establishments, and others work in the hospitality industry are reminded of the importance of discipline, hard work and commitment to Namibia.

“The fund expects you to go there and perform academically and take every opportunity through your work integrated learning experience in Zimbabwe. We are expecting you after your return to Namibia to contribute towards the creation of more employment, eradicate poverty and contribute towards national human capital development,” Tjahere added.

Source : New Era