Unemployed graduates demand allowance

11 November 2021 | Education

ESTER KAMATI



WINDHOEK

The Graduates Union of Namibia (GUN) wants government to intervene in the unemployment status of an estimated 80 000 graduates in the country.

In a letter to President Hage Geingob, the union demanded an allowance for the graduates, adding that unemployment in Namibia has long reached crisis levels.

The proposed allowance would be used for job hunting, which printing and delivering resumes and attending interviews.

A starting allowance of N$350 has been suggested for graduates who hold a certificate, N$400 for a diploma, N$450 for an advanced degree and N$600 for those with an undergraduate degree, while those who hold honours and Masters degrees but are still jobless should get N$700 and N$750 respectively.

“Our unemployed graduates are not to blame for this crisis. They were never part of any committee that drafted our education policies; neither do they form part of a governing body that can have direct influence on the running state affairs.

“Blaming young graduates for a lack of innovation proves partial and unfounded,” the letter read.

Facing extreme poverty

The union’s spokesperson, Fanus Ivula, said the allowance will also be helpful as a social security net for the graduates. “Imagine the blame they get for wasting their parents’ money to go for studies.”

He added that unemployment has nothing to do with career choice, but is a matter of governance. “Our graduates are leaving the country to become nannies in Europe,” he said.

According to him, the unemployment crisis has resulted in extreme poverty and has been worsened by the pandemic.

“The youth, including myself, are facing extreme poverty, suicide, drug abuse and often turning to dangerous criminal activities on a daily basis,” he said.

“It takes time to cultivate a mindset of become self-employed into the minds of people who were imparted to become employees.”

A family’s hope

The union said the high unemployment numbers are heightened by an influx of graduates yearly.

Ivula added that these graduates are often the hope of their families, to help save them from poverty.

In March, the ministry of higher education published that a total of 67 000 graduates are unemployed. This number has been estimated to have increased to at least 80 000 given the October graduation.

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