NQA toothless on bogus colleges
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03 April 2017
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Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) Chief Executive Officer, Franz Gertze, says that students who fall victim to bogus, unaccredited education institutions have no choice, but to start over from scratch, with their studies. Gertze’s comments come as the NQA has been accused of dragging its feet, in terms of amending the Namibia Qualifications Authority Act of 1996, so that it can be given the power to close down unaccredited institutions.

The Act, in its current form, does not make NQA accreditation compulsory, and institutions are free to register and operate without accreditation.

Gertze said the NQA, together with the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, has started the process of amending the Act.

In an interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, he said the qualifications authority only evaluates degrees or certificates attained at accredited institutions.

As it stands, only 44 education institutions in the country are accredited, with 12 currently in the process of acquiring accreditation.

The NQA has previously reported that over the past three years, a total of 18 institutions were denied accreditation, as they did not meet the requirements, as contained in the gazetted Accreditation Regulations.

“Due to the fact that bogus institutions usually operate in the shadows, it is impossible to keep a record of their exact number and whereabouts, and hence the need for wider corporation to identify these institutions,” Gertze said.

He warned that those institutions which are found to be operating in contravention of the law are liable to pay a penalty, while their owners also face imprisonment.

“Training providers operating in Namibia, including those offering franchised courses, must be accredited by the NQA,” he said.

In December last year, the NQA released the names of all accredited Namibian training providers. The list is available on the NQA website.

Asked about courses run by colleges that are not accredited in Namibia, but are recognised internationally, Gertze said all training providers operating in Namibia, including those offering franchise courses, must be accredited by the NQA.

As it stands, the NQA is not sure when the process to amend the Act will be finalised.

“The process is outside of our scope of interest, as it involves a number of stakeholders, so we cannot pre-empt when that will be,” Gertze said.

 

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