NAMCOL is a State Owned Educational institution created by an Act of Parliament (Act 1 of 1997) to provide learning opportunities for adults and out-of-school youth.
In November 1994, NAMCOL was initially established as a directorate within the then Ministry of Basic Education and Culture (MBEC).
This transition period was completed on 1st April 1998, when the newly-established institution took over responsibility for all continuing education programmes formerly administered by the MBEC.
NAMCOL is an autonomous institution, directed by a Board of Governors appointed by the Minister of Education Arts and Culture. At the helm of the management is a Director, assisted by four Deputy Directors, four Regional Managers and Middle Management.
NAMCOL employs the services of 115 full- time staff members and more than 1 500 part-time staff members countrywide. Since its inception, the College has accommodated thousands of learners through its Secondary Education and Tertiary Level Programmes. NAMCOL Head Office is situated along Independence Avenue,in the Katutura suburb of Windhoek.
The NAMCOL complex was formally inaugurated by the then Minister of Basic Education, Sport and Culture (MBESC) Honourable John Mutorwa on 29 October 1998.
The College’s services are extended throughout the whole of Namibia via the four Regional and Sub-Regional Offices in Ongwediva, Rundu, Otjiwarongo, Windhoek, Gobabis, Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, Opuwo and Katima Mulilo.
We strive to be a world-class institution of excellence, accessible to all, with a committed professional staff, educating people through an innovative range of ODL programmes, and providing quality services in a sustainable manner.
We are committed to providing wider access to quality educational services for our learners and other customers, using a variety of open learning methods.
Accessibility: To provide opportunities for adults and out-of-school youth to further their education or develop new skills.
Sustainability: To ensure the College has enough resources to be able to continue to develop and offer programmes in the future.
Quality: To strive for the highest standards of programmes and service delivery.
Accountability: To provide our stakeholders with convincing evidence of the value of what we do.
Responsiveness: To address training needs and emerging challenges in a timely fashion.
1979: In 1979, SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) requested that the Commonwealth Secretariat and International Extension College (IEC) draw up a plan for a Namibian Extension Unit (NEU). Soon afterwards, the NEU was established and operated from Zambia for Namibians in exile.
1990: In the period before 1990, the Department of National Education (DNE) of the former dispensation provided Distance Education (DE) courses for teachers. After Independence in 1990, NEU and DNE distance education units were combined to become the Department of Adult and Non-Formal Education within the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC).
1991: The Core Planning Group was established in 1991 and they contributed towards the production of the Report of the Commission on Higher Education, which endorsed the establishment of a distance education college. The MEC five-year plan also assigned a significant role to distance education. “Taking Education to the People” was a report written at this time that recommended the establishment of a semi-autonomous Distance Education College. The establishment of this College gained the approval of the MEC in 1993.
“Taking Education to the People”
(This statement became the famous NAMCOL slogan.)
1994: In 1994, the Interim Development Board was appointed by Minister Nahas Hangula to assist in planning for the establishment of the College through an Act of Parliament. The new structure was to be named the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) with a remit for both distance education and face-to-face components of the Ministry’s continuing education programme.
It was then that the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education (within the Ministry of Basic Education and Culture) was separated into two directorates:
1.Directorate of Adult and Basic Education (DABE) and
2.Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education
1995: In 1995, APSO provided a full time, in-country technical adviser to assist in preparations for the transition. UK ODA also supported a short-term consultancy by IEC to draft a funding proposal for a staff development programme. The NAMCOL staff produced a strategic development plan, logo, new structure and staff establishment for the College between 1995 and 1997.
The first Director of NAMCOL, Mrs Frances Ferreira, was appointed in 1996, and served for ten years as the head of the College. During this time the UK ODA funded a contract for the NAMCOL-Bath Partnership project. A technical adviser was appointed to assist with staff development for distance learning materials development and production. The NAMCOL Bill was then introduced to the National Assembly.
1997: In 1997, the negotiations with the staff to transform the College from the Ministry to a semi-autonomous body commenced. The proposed Bill proceeded through all the stages of Parliament and on the 25th of September 1997, the NAMCOL Act (Act no. 1 of 1997) came into effect. It was then that the Interim Development Board was appointed as the first Board of Governors of NAMCOL.
1998: On the 1st of April 1998, NAMCOL separated from the Ministry, and the NAMCOL staff was formally appointed. The NAMCOL senior management then developed a new Strategic Plan. Training in Change Management took place at the head office and regions and an extension to the NAMCOL-Bath Partnership Project commenced with emphasis on planning and management development. NAMCOL opened a Resource Centre at the Yetu Yama Centre to provide access to learning materials needed for local NAMCOL learners in March 1999.
1999: A Face to Face course in Practical English is introduced.
2000: The Recognition and procedural agreement between NAMCOL and the Public Service Union of NAMIBIA is signed on 21 January 2000.
NAMCOL signs a memorandum of understanding for the coordination of open and distance learning in Namibia with UNAM and the then Polytechnic of Namibia on 17 February 2000.
2003: Open mode of studies is introduced which combines the strengths of both the distance education and face to face modes and equal opportunities to all learners.
Commonwealth Youth Programme Secretariat in conjunction with Huddersfield University granted NAMCOL the status of Partner Institution.
New course materials for our ASE market were developed for 6 subjects in Grade 10 and two subjects in Grade 12.
English Communication Course, designed to cover three different levels is introduced.
NAMCOL’s first internal Quality Assurance Audit is conducted between February and April 2003.
2004: A one-year certificate programme in Local Government Administration is established.
2007/2008: Namcol’s 10th Anniversary
2009: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is introduced for the first time at the college.
2010: Two new professional programmes were introduced during 2010 academic year. The Diploma in Education for Development was officially launched in May 2010 with an intake of 67; and a Certificate in Community based work with children and youth with 77 registered students.
NAMCOL signs agreement with UNISA to use their study materials for the delivery of the Diploma in Education for Development.
The college entered in a partnership agreement with Eros Girl’s School to provide study materials for the Certificate in Early Childhood Development (CECD) programme.
2011: A three-year diploma in early Childhood Development and Pre-Primary Education was introduced with an intake of 62 students.
2013: A funding proposal for the implementation of TVET programmes was submitted to the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and N$16, 4 million funded by the millennium Challenge Account (MCA). The following TVET programmers were launched in February 2013 at level 1: Certificate in Office Administration, Certificate in Automotive Mechanics, Certificate in Welding and Metal Fabrication as well as the Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting.
2014: The College submitted a qualification from the Virtual University of Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), namely the Bachelor Degree in Business and Entrepreneurship for registration on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The College submits the Diploma in Early Childhood and Pre-Primary Education (DECPPE) for registration at level 7 on the NQF.
2015: Notesmaster Namibia wins the World Summit Award for best practice and innovation.
The development of the Certificate in Early Childhood Development (CECD) online course on Moodle was completed.
2019: NAMCOL signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The MOU established a framework for cooperation in areas such as research, quality assurance and programme development.
The college also signed an MOU with the Open University of Mauritius (OUM) to offer the B.Ed. (Hon) Primary Education (Top-Up), B.Ed. (Hon) Early Childhood Education and Care, and some employability skills short courses.
NAMCOL signs agreement with the Commonwealth of learning for the support of online content development on the Notesmaster platform.
2020: NAMCOL Sub-Regional Office in Gobabis was inaugurated on 30 October 2020.
Elise went to school at Onguti Secondary School where she failed Grade 12 with 17 points, came to Windhoek, enrolled for the PETE programme, and today she is aiming to do her biomedical studies at a university in Cape Town. She enjoyed her time at NAMCOL and feels that the teachers at the PETE programme did much more than her teachers back home. “Had I been taught some of the things I was taught at NAMCOL, I would have passed Grade 12 the first time around”, she added.
She urges everybody, especially young people, to enrol with NAMCOL as she claims, that the other institutions out there are only after money and NAMCOL is cheaper, the teachers work harder and if you work hard, your results will improve. “The results published earlier this year proved that NAMCOL is not a place for failures!”
Kareree, a learner from Opuwo failed Grade 12 at Augustinium High School in 2008 with a meagre 16 points, yet today, she is enrolled at the University of Namibia (UNAM) where she is studying for an engineering degree. She fell, stood up and enrolled at the Namibian College of Open Learning’s (NAMCOL) Pre-entry to Tertiary Education (PETE) Programme in 2009 and at the end, obtained 31 points, a far-cry from where she was a year earlier. Hard work and dedication helped Kareree achieve this feat. Just look at the symbols for the four subjects she re-took: In English and Mathematics she improved from a D to a C symbol, respectively; Physical Science she improved from an E to a B symbol, and Biology from an F to an A. She did exceptionally well.
The PETE programme focuses on the following key subjects: English 2nd Language, Mathematics, Biology and Physical Science. Basic computer training is also offered under this package.
NAMCOL is the “People’s College” and its record since its inception in 1998, speaks for itself. Operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, NAMCOL has surprised friend and foe with its results and innovations, especially in the open and distance learning field where it has not only taken its rightful place in Southern Africa where it is considered as a leading Institution but also worldwide.
This is manifested in the various international awards it has received in open and distance learning (for being an Institution of excellence and for best interactive web-based lessons), as well as local accolades it continuously receives from current and former learners.
NAMCOL started off by providing secondary education to those who could not attend the formal system, but today it offers education to the masses with an average annual enrolment of 28 000. In addition, NAMCOL offers professional development courses to Namibians in careers such as local and regional government, community and youth development, business management, early childhood development as well as addressing the needs of the orphans and vulnerable members of our communities.
In short, NAMCOL is filling the void left by the colonial dispensation in terms of equitable provision of education. NAMCOL is now firmly addressing the socio-economic circumstances of our people by taking education to the people.
NAMCOL, with its dedicated and well-trained academic full-time and part-time staff, has provided a platform for the learners to reach their dreams.
You can fulfil your dreams by enrolling in 2021 at NAMCOL. For more information, contact your nearest NAMCOL Centre.
“I completed Grade 12 with NAMCOL last year and I am now studying towards a teaching diploma at UNAM. NAMCOL has afforded me the opportunity to achieve what I always wanted in life. When I failed Grade 12, the College proved to be the key to further my education and I am grateful. One thing, though, it is very affordable!”
Absalom feels that NAMCOL is a good institution but that many people fail due to their challenges and constraints at home. He feels NAMCOL should provide education to its learners which will help make them employable, such as adding vocational subjects to its programmes. “Look at me, I graduated from the Polytechnic but I am still job-hunting
“NAMCOL is an institution that offers (Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Namibia and it is in fact taking education to the people. I first started my education at NAMCOL in 2009 doing CED because I found NAMCOL to be affordable and satisfying towards the educational needs of the people. I am now doing the CYP because upon completion it would afford me to work with both the youth and adults!”
Petrus Iita and Malakia Mweendeleni
“The PETE programme gave us direction and we were motivated to do our best to such an extent that we can compete with any students from the best schools in Namibia.” These young men are a testimony of hard work and perseverance and would recommend NAMCOL and especially the PETE programme to anyone as they are busy studying at UNAM. Petrus wants to be the best laboratory scientist that Namibia has, while Malakia wants to be a medical doctor. “People who say that NAMCOL is for failures do not know what they are talking about. The College provided us with an opportunity to improve our marks and gave learners like us, the chance to become productive citizens of the country,” the young men testified.