Bogus training institutions to face the music
01 September 2016 | Education
The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and the line ministry is in the process of amending one of its Acts which will make accreditation compulsory for institutions offering training courses and unrecognised qualifications to students.
This is according to Catherine Shipushu, NQA’s marketing and communications manager during an information sharing session held at the Ongwediva Trade Fair on Tuesday.
Shipushu said the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation to whom the NQA reports to, is the one spearheading the process of amending Act 29 of 1996 and its regulations.
She said under the current Act accreditation is not mandatory in Namibia and therefore training providers are not obliged to be accredited by the NQA.
“We are busy amending the Act - especially on the regulation of accreditation - because the numbers of unaccredited institutions are just too many and their qualifications are not recognised by employers when the students apply for jobs,” she said. Shipushu said so far there are only 46 institutions accredited by NQA.
Regarding the number of unaccredited institutions there are currently, Shipushu said the NQA only focuses on those that are accredited and therefore could not provide any figures.
Shipushu said if the Act is amended the unaccredited institutions will not be force to close down immediately because accreditation takes time, but they will have to comply with the regulations of the Act if it is amended.
NQA’s Linda Nambandi spoke about the accreditation process saying that if an institution cooperates during the different stages of the process, it takes up to three months for an institution to be accredited.
Nambandi said the reason why many institutions do not get accredited is because they provide false information in their applications and when NQA does the site visits, they discover that the information presented in the application is not true and NQA is left with the only option of declining the application.
“If in your application you said you have ten computers and when we come and visit your premises and discover you have only five, we will write in our report that you only have five and the chances are high that your application won’t go through to the next stage,” she said.
Nambandi said the institutions are informed about the site visits.
When asked whether it is risky to inform the institution about the site visit, Nambandi said the institution will not get away with murder because a second site visit is conducted later on where the institution is not informed about it. She said the area where most of the institutions fail in order to be accredited is at staffing, saying that those unaccredited institutions submit names of people who are the lecturers but when NQA checks at the payroll of that company those names do not feature on it, a situation which disqualifies many institutions from getting accredited.
“We at NQA mean business, we are serious about our mandate especially when it comes to accreditation,” Nambandi said.