A holistic approach to education

International Training College - Lingua aims high

09 August 2019 | Education

Evany van Wyk

With a humble start in a one-bedroom apartment, one laptop and offering only a few courses, Lingua has grown into a fully-fledged educating machine competing with the best Namibian universities.

Ingrid Kloppers-Mettler was down on her luck and demotivated when she came up with the idea of giving lessons from her apartment. Today, as the founder and managing director of International Training College - Lingua, she along with her husband, Leon Mettler and a great team of workers see to it that all students at the college receive the best quality education. The ambitious duo sat down with Careers to give a little background on what the accomplishments, vision and future plans for the college are.

Lingua offers courses in accounting and finance, business administration, human resource management, office administration, IT, tourism, local and foreign languages, vocational courses (plumbing, fitter and turner, auto-mechanic, etc.) and part-time secondary tuition and examinations for learners in grades 9 to 12.

The college also works hand-in-hand with various industries to ensure that training and services offered respond to industry demands. “We want to make sure that when our students graduate, they are appointed in jobs because our training was in accordance the business’ standards,” said Kloppers-Mettler.

Lingua has a strict policy against only classroom teaching and wants the students to be exposed to the real working world. “Thus the regular outings to places of business for them to experience what they have been taught in theory, and also the visiting lecturers from the different industries who come in for workshops,” explained Kloppers-Mettler. Apart from the fact that this approach enables students to integrate their academic experience with professional experience, it helps them to establish contacts in the business world.

Where possible, Lingua strives to employ their own students once they finish their studies because “we believe and have confidence in the training that we provide” Mettler concluded.

“Students benefit with our compulsory internship programme which enables them to either find employment at internship companies or at least provide them with the basis of professional experience.”

Among Lingua’s successes is the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA) accreditation of the college in 2007, 2014 and 2018 and registration of their qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This also includes the registration by the National Training Authority (NTA) as a vocational training provider. Lingua also boasts with registration at the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) as a research centre, and registration by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) as a private higher education institution. Lingua has also been registered by the education ministry as a grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 part-time tuition and examination centre and is registered as a CISCO centre.

“In 2018, Lingua college decided to broaden the vision of our students and to expose them to business and tourism opportunities outside Namibia,” said Mettler. For this, a successful trip to Ghana was organised in August 2018 and another to Paris, France in June 2019. This would not have been possible without with the assistance of Air Namibia, the Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana, Charles Jossob, and the Namibian Ambassador to France, Albertus Aochamub. Kloppers-Mettler expressed her absolute awe and appreciation during her sit-down with Careers. “I really have to commend the impeccable job that Air Namibia has done in assisting us. They go the extra mile and that is not something we take for granted,” she said.

Lingua this year applied for registration of the Bachelors and Honours degrees for all their tertiary qualifications at the NQA. “Hopefully that process will be complete before the end of the year,” said Kloppers-Mettler. The college boasts with eight buildings in Windhoek as well as land that they have already acquired. “The land that we bought will be used to house the Lingua campus. We want to start building the foundation later this year,” said Leon Mettler. According to him, their function is not only to give a student an education, but rather one with substance and quality. “What has to be remembered is that education is a holistic development process,” he said. According to the duo Lingua invests in several sports, culture and a wellness week aimed at staff and students. For the latter, doctors, nurses, the police force, psychologists, fitness companies, etc., are invited so that the college community understands the importance of well-being. The aim of this health and wellness week is thus to educate, raise awareness and engage the community to improve their overall wellness.

Despite the lack of financial support from the government, at Lingua the teaching staff is highly qualified and experienced and are dedicated to the success and well-being of their students.

Mettler believes one is never too old for education. According to him whether you are a school-leaver, an adult returning to study, or you are at an age when you think that you are “too old” to get a school certificate or a tertiary qualification, or you are thinking of improving your qualifications, they are committed to going the extra mile in providing a quality learning experience. “If you choose to study with us, then you will benefit from quality courses which aim to give you the edge when it comes to employment with committed lecturers who are experts in their field and a friendly and supportive environment,” Mettler concluded.

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