Aging infrastructure limits UNAM’s transformed curriculum: Bock

WINDHOEK: Aging, inadequate infrastructure, technology and facilities at the University of Namibia (UNAM) limits the implementation of the university’s newly transformed curriculum, UNAM Foundation Executive Director Bernadette Bock, has said.

Speaking at the launch of the UNAM Foundation Brand and Fundraising Project here on Wednesday, Bock said there is a need to enable hybrid learning and teaching classrooms of the future to efficiently implement the new curriculum which adopted a blended learning approach as its overarching pedagogical model of delivery.

UNAM has transformed all their undergraduate programmes in response to the needs of the fourth and fifth Industrial Revolutions.

These programmes were implemented in 2023 in a variety of disciplines including agriculture, engineering, natural sciences, commerce, management, law, education, human sciences, health sciences and veterinary medicine.

She noted that some of the foundation’s projects include finding solutions geared towards learning, teachin
g facilities and technologies responding to both the fourth and fifth Industrial Revolutions, and to align to industry needs.

‘With this we hope to impact student performance and completion rates, we hope to enhance lecturers’ productivity… We are targeting increased graduate employability and increasing inclusion of students with disabilities and varying learning abilities,’ she said.

Amongst other challenges, Bock highlighted that not all phases of UNAM’s veterinary hospital are completed. This negatively impacts teaching, practical learning and animal health services to the public. Bock said the foundation will amongst others aims to ensure a fully equipped and functional animal hospital by developing the final phases of the construction.

Equally, she noted, practical teaching training in vocational education at the school of education is compromised due to the lack of adequate vocational equipment.

‘The challenge here is that teachers are being trained to teach vocational subjects in secondary schools
but they don’s have the equipment… So the teachers being trained need the equipment to test their skills and their knowledge to be able to transfer that knowledge to the students once they go into the labour market and start teaching,’ she stressed.

Bock further said starting with the Khomasdal campus in Windhoek, the foundation project aims to equip the campus workshop with the required vocational equipment to renew and optimise outdated spaces and prime them for the development of a Bachelor of Education programme focused on vocational education.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency