WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Education has cautioned Namibian students to be wary of registering with unrecognised foreign educational institutions through agents that charge them hefty sums of money to facilitate their admission.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi, said the ministry has noticed with great concern through the media that Namibian students are being swindled by bogus education institutions both locally and internationally.
Thousands of Namibian students are studying in Belarus, Russia, Libya, Egypt, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe among other countries for diploma and degree courses in various fields of study.
Namwandi said these institutions take advantage of desperate Namibians who are “thirsty for education” by charging them exorbitant amounts of money and making empty promises.
“We are concerned that Namibians have become easy targets. The ministry would like to caution our people, particularly the young citizens of this land to be alert of such institutions,” he cautioned.
He cited the incidence of the Bulawayo Commercial Training Institute that allegedly deceived Namibians into studying in Zimbabwe promising them state of the art facilities, but contrary to the promises students are living in deplorable and inhuman conditions.
Therefore, he encouraged that those intending to enrol with unknown institutions particularly in other countries must do background research on the institutions before they enrol.
Furthermore, he said Namibians should be cautious about getting admission to institutions through agents that charge them fees.
Namwandi said potential students should and must apply directly to the universities or institutions as it is the only sure way that one is not swindled.
“These kinds of operations may be dangerous as they put the lives of our citizens at risk and open gates of human trafficking. The public should also note that all required qualifications from elsewhere must be recognised in the country hence the need for verification of institutions and its qualifications through the Namibia Qualifications Authority of the National Council of Higher Education,” noted the education minister who has personally visited some of the stricken students.
He also issued a stern warning to those who are involved in tricking young people into paying for empty promises to stop or risk being caught and having to face the full wrath of the law. “The ministry will engage relevant authorities including the Namibian police to root out such operations,” he warned.
He urged those who wish to pursue their studies outside the country to seek the assistance of the Ministry of Education to avoid enrolling at unrecognised institutions.