UNAM Unveils N$20 Million Lecture Facility

As part of its efforts to enhance the provision of quality education, the University of Namibia (Unam) Katima Mulilo campus inaugurated a state-of-the-art lecture hall.

The new lecture hall that was built at a cost of N$20 million has remedied the shortage of student classes. It is a two-storey building housing two blocks with a cpacity of 200 students each.

It is replete with multimedia equipment such as computers, projectors and a public address system to aid teaching, includes staff offices and is accessible to people with disability.

Unam’s Katima Mulilo campus director, Dr Bennet Kangumu, is pleased with the infrastructural development at the campus.

“You can see the structural differences in terms of re-engineering of the facilities that we have. We have renovated hostels, the dining hall, library, classes and built two new laboratories that are already in use. This building has alleviated the shortage of classes given the continued growth in student numbers,” said a delighted Kangumu.

He promised to continue to construct and refurbish facilities to ease the provision of education at the institution.

“However, we still have a problem with facilities such as hostels that are full. Students are forced to look for accommodation somewhere else which is at times difficult. We might start constructing a new hostel building during the course of this year. We will also shift our focus to student recreational facilities,” Kangumu said at the launch.

Kangumu also noted that two new programmes in wildlife and animal health introduced at the campus recently are well suited to the region given its susceptibility to animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth, adding that they are seen as flagship programmes only offered at the Katima campus.

“We are also offering a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management and Eco-Tourism and a Diploma in Animal Health. We appreciate that these programmes are only offered in Katima.”

Presidential Affairs Minister and Attorney General, Dr Albert Kawana, in whose honour the new building was named commended Unam management for their efforts in education.

“Education will enable Namibians to exploit their natural resources for their own benefit. Education must remain a priority among many other priorities. We are happy to see infrastructure being built such as the one we are inaugurating today to address the challenges faced by our institutions,” stated Kawana.

Kawana however lamented the lack of personnel in specialised fields citing the migration of skilled Africans to western countries commonly known as the ‘brain drain’ as one of the driving forces behind the shortfall, calling for concerted efforts in addressing this trend.

“Most Africans that are educated especially in western countries decide to stay upon completion of their education and thus contribute to the shortage we are experiencing today. I read in the newspapers that even here in Katima, we are struggling to get health personnel. We must be able to educate and retain personnel,” elaborated Kawana

Unam Vice-Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula noted that with the introduction of two new programmes, Unam was looking at making the campus a centre of excellence in fields that are tailor-made for the region.

“Katima Mulilo campus will now be a centre of excellence in tourism, animal health, wildlife and nature conservation, and water management. This is well suited given the region’s strategic location in KAZA. We intend to establish the best laboratory and library on wildlife within KAZA. We need support from government and the private sector,” rallied Hangula.

Unam also commissioned a boat procured at a cost of N$300 000 to be used by academics in their research particularly during floods.

The inauguration was also witnessed by Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu and the Chief Regional Officer, Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, among other senior regional officials.

Source : New Era