The Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) Compact investment programme, which is now in its fifth and final year, is playing a major role towards the improvement of Namibia’s education sector since its inception in 2008. MCA-N’s Education Project is supporting the Education Ministry, contributing towards Government’s Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP).
The Compact programme, which is funded by the United States Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), has constructed three Regional Study and Resource Centres (RSRCs), been upgrading 47 government schools as well as nine vocational training facilities. Specialised training and support in innovative learning methods has significantly improved the competency and knowledge of young Namibians. Of the total Compact budget to the value of US$ 304 million, US$ 145 million is being invested in Namibia’s education sector. Other sectors MCA-N is supporting are Tourism and Agriculture.
In Education, MCA-N seeks to bring the quality of the country’s workforce closer to the requirements of Namibia’s industry and labour market. One of the priorities is the assistance of vocational training through the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) in creating and a levy collection system to support vocational education and skills training. MCA-N is funding such training directly, and more than US$ 100,000 has been committed to date to support a targeted 1,638 trainees in high-demand skills such as tour guiding, hospitality, construction and mining.
MCA-N also assisted the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) in launching its Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme through a capacity-building grant over US$ 80 208 33. Over US$ 14.2 million were allocated to the construction of four new and the upgrading of five existing Community Skills Development Centres (Cosdecs), which are located in Tsumeb, Ondangwa, Opuwo, Otjiwarongo, Rundu, Windhoek and Swakopmund. The renovation of all centres is completed and training equipment has been procured, whilst the construction of a US$ 2.1 million Arts and Craft Centre in Swakopmund is at an advanced stage.
MCA-N support to COSDEC training facilities includes the qualification of staff in management. By the end of the Compact programme, all staff members will be trained in strategic planning, budgeting, finance and community skills assessment. PF