Impact of local ICT players on Work Integrated Learning

In the spirit of good corporate citizenship, organisations both in the public and private sectors in Namibia have an active role to play when it comes to Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship initiatives by the local Tertiary Institutions. La Trobe University defined Work Integrated Learning as an umbrella term used to describe a range of approaches that integrate theory with the practice of work within a purposefully designed curriculum.

In Namibia specifically, it has been found that many tertiary students have limited options when it comes to internship opportunities even though it is an academic requirement during their final year of studies before obtaining their respective qualifications.

However, some students have experienced challenges in this regard and as a result, they have had some delays with obtaining their qualifications when they have not had an opportunity to complete the work integrated learning programme. Another concern is that most graduates lack real world experience as they have not been exposed to work integrated learning.

The purpose of the WIL programme ultimately is for students to undertake an internship to enable them to apply theoretical knowledge gained from their studies in a practical setting. Tertiary institutions look to the various industries to provide controlled working environment in the form of job placement opportunities in this regard.

Although different organisations may have different requirements and arrangements as far as their WIL programmes are concerned, those who have incorporated this initiative in their operations have made a significant impact in this regard. In fact, most Namibian professionals started out as interns and with hard work, dedication and the right attitude they grew in their professions.

Green Enterprise Solutions, a local company that provides Information and Communication Technology (ICT); has also opened its doors to college and university students for internship opportunities. The company has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Namibian University of Science and Technology to take in their students for work integrated learning.

Over the past six years to date, Green has housed a number of students from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), University of Namibia (UNAM), Institute of Information Technology (IIT), International University of Management (IUM) and Lingua College.

For Green, the internship programme offers a wide range of opportunities for students to gain insight in the technical and administrative programmes of ICT, namely in software development, infrastructure technologies, networking and security, warranty services, project management, sales and marketing.

The duration of Green internships is between three to six months or longer, depending on the internship guide and requirements as well as performance of the interns.

At an induction session earlier last week, Green's managing director Llewellyn le Hane highlighted that as a Namibian company, it is important to actively participate in this programme else Namibia will not have local capable resources to contribute to the development of Namibia with bespoke ICT solutions.

Present at the event was Carol Millward, NUST's industry liaison officer who motivated the NUST intakes to take this opportunity seriously and make the most out of it. Millward added she was humbled to have been part of this session and hopes many other industry players will continue to support NUST and other tertiary institutions in this programme.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia