10 ADVERT Friday, June 16 2017 | NEW ERA Official Weekly Communique of the University of Namibia - Volume 19 UNAM SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH NSI TO STANDARDISE PRODUCTS The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) entered into a cooperation agreement to strengthen participation of academia in the area of standards development and coordination, certification, testing and metrology. The agreement was recently signed by Professor Lazarus Hangula, UNAM Vice Chancellor and Ms Chie Wasserfall, Chief Executive Officer: Namibian Standards Institution. The agreement seeks to encourage the participation of activities under the National Quality Policy. Worth mentioning is that UNAM and NSI are currently working together in the development of standards for its Yoghurt and other dairy products from the Neudamm and Ogongo Campuses respectively. Other products in the pipeline ready for standards development include food and beverages from indigenous plants and fruits, products from medicinal plants and software from IT. The agreement will also provide an opportunity for the NSI to utilise UNAM’s testing facilities where available for the demonstration of product conformance to applicable product standard as part of its (NSI) conformity assessment procedures, exhibit at UNAM research and innovation days as well as at other career fairs. Hence the MoU will serve as a vehicle for harnessing cooperation between the two institutions in accreditation and certification. Professor Hangula: “this MoU is of importance to UNAM as it comes at a time when the institution seeks to attain accreditation of its laboratory in conformity with international best practice through the NSI, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Standards (SADCAS), the South African National Accreditation Standards (SANAS).” FRTL: Cynthia Anyanwu (NSI Legal Advisor and Company Secretary), Chie Wasserfall (CEO: NSI), Prof L. Hangula (UNAM Vice-Chancellor) and Prof K. Matengu (UNAM PVC: Research, Innovation and Development) During her address at the MoU signing ceremony, Ms Wasserfall highlighted that the cabinet approved National Quality Policy ensures Namibians produce quality products and services and educational institutions can play an important role through the introduction of quality related courses in the curricula. “Therefore, through this cooperation agreement, the NSI aims to ensure UNAM will be able to fulfil government’s directive through its active participation in the establishment of the Quality Association of Namibia as well as the Laboratory Association of Namibia.” The cooperation agreement is valid from the 7 June 2017 for a period of three (3) years. PHARMACY STUDENTS REALISE INDUSTRY PLACEMENT IN UGANDA FLTR (standing): R. Shivoro (UNAM External Relations Coordinator), Prof F. Gideon (UNAM PVC: Academic Affairs), Dr V. Uahengo (Deputy Dean: UNAM Faculty of Science), Dr J. Sifani (Director: UNAM Centre for Innovation and Development), L. Shikongo-Kuvare (NSI General Manager: Certification), V. Mundembe (NSI Manager: Metrology). CAREER EXPO AT ST. PAULS COLLEGE Learners at St. Paul’s College excited during the School’s Career Expo in view of the 2018 online application period commenced on 01 June. Sixteen (16) students from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Namibia (UNAM) are in Uganda for four weeks on their Pharmaceutical Industry placement at Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL). This year’s group is the largest thus far to be hosted for their industrial training, and the third cohort to go to the Kampala based state of the art pharmaceutical manufacturer. The Pharmacy internship at CiplaQCIL provides students with a unique training experience as CiplaQCIL is a World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalified facility; one of a few in Sub-Saharan Africa. Being a WHO prequalified facility exposes students to best practices in the industry like current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and provides an environment that cultivates the qualities of a world class pharmacist.
Friday, June 16 2017 | NEW ERA FEATURE 11 Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Why studying history is important Alvine Kapitako and Sabina Elago Windhoek “I know that the struggle will be long and bitter. I also know that my people will wage that struggle, whatever the cost.” These were the words of Andimba Herman Toivo Ya Toivo, in his statement in the Supreme Court of Pretoria, where Ya Toivo and 29 other Swapo members were convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. His moving statement remains relevant five decades later. “Only when we are granted our independence will the struggle stop. Only when our human dignity is restored to us, as equals of the whites, will there be peace between us.” As moving as Ya Toivo’s words were, little is known about the man who fought tooth and nail for Namibia to attain independence. But did the struggle stop with the attainment of Namibia’s independence and the ideals for which Ya Toivo fought bear fruit in an independent Namibia? “He is a man who died in pain and disappointment. What he fought for is not happening today,” said Moses Amutenya, a history teacher at Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Secondary school. Ya Toivo was actively involved in the liberation of Namibia and “enough is not done to recognise him as a co-founder of Swapo”, opined Amutenya. As a matter of fact, his speech is merely highlighted in history books and not taught in depth. Albert Arries “He could have been praised as co-founder of Swapo, because he was one of the Namibian stalwarts who served a long jail term at Robben Island,” he adds. Historian and anthropologist Jarimbovandu Alex Kaputu feels that Ya Toivo is an unsung hero and a somewhat “forgotten figure”. “After his passing we are talking about Ya Toivo as if he resurrected from the dead. Why didn’t we do it while he was alive? He was just an ordinary Swapo leader and pensioner in the eyes of many people,” remarked Kaputu. In fact, some people thought he died many years ago, Kaputu added. Having contributed significantly to the country’s struggle for independence, Ya Toivo’s “history was just put in smoke,” Kaputu remarked. “It was not shining at all. I don’t know if it was overwhelmed by others. After his release from Robben Island in 1984, his history Photos: Emmency Nuukala History teacher at Windhoek High School just faded out,” Kaputu further stated. Having served a lengthy prison term, Ya Toivo’s history should not be taken for granted, Arries said. “I’m not comparing him to Nelson Mandela, but he (Ya Toivo) is our Nelson Mandela,” Albert Arries, a history teacher at Windhoek High School maintained. Yet, it is seldom asked how much of an impact Ya Toivo’s speech in Pretoria has had on Namibians, Aries noted, adding that his experience as a political prisoner is seldom spoken of, said Arries. “He wasn’t appreciated enough for that.” Teaching Namibian history in schools Kaputu, Arries and Amutenya, however, all agree with Edmund Burke that: “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it”. They maintained that history should be taken seriously as a school subject. In Namibia we are promoting the Historian and anthropologist Jarimbovandu Alex Kaputu sciences, Arries said, noting that “As good as that is we are not growing socially and if we are not careful our history will be lost in translation.” Learners are not made aware of possible history careers, such as anthropology and archeology. “Learners might be interested in it, but society does not promote these careers for Namibians,” said Arries. Kaputu agreed that: “if we are not careful we might lose our history”. Also, Amutenya held views similar to those of Arries, saying Namibian history is not adequately documented in Namibian history textbooks. For example, Grade 8, 9 and 10 history books do not offer in-depth coverage of the country’s history, while Grade 11 and 12 history focuses mainly on world history. “Namibian history is merely highlighted in history textbooks,” Amutenya added. There are conflicting views regarding the history of political prisoners at Robben Island. He added: “Some people say he spent 16 years on Robben Island, while others say he spen 17 years,” added Amutenya, who stressed that history should be accurately documented. “We are afraid to teach our learners some of those things, because there are conflicting views,” added Amutenya, saying there are ongoing disputes over who is the founder of the Ovambo People’s Congress. “Things need to be clear. We don’t want people guessing,” he stated. “History is not taken serious by the government itself,” Amutenya further opined. He attributes the lowly status of history studies to the fact that history as a subject is not properly marketed at career fairs. Furthermore, there are limited places where people can learn about history beyond the classroom. “We don’t have a fully-fledged centre where history is accessible,” Amutenya highlighted. Ya Toivo in his 1969 speech further said: “My co-accused and I have suffered. We are not looking forward to our imprisonment. We do not, however, feel that our efforts and sacrifice have been wasted. We believe that human suffering has its effect, even on those who impose it.” Ya Toivo concluded by saying: “We hope that what has happened will persuade the whites of South Africa that we and the world may be right and they may be wrong. Only when white South Africans realise this and act on it, will it be possible for us to stop our struggle for freedom and justice in the land of our birth.”