World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2015-10-01

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

The mission of TVET in Namibia is to develop a skilled workforce in order to help Namibia to strive against rising levels of unemployment and help Namibia become a knowledge-based economy (KBE).

TVET strategy

The Vocational Education and Training Act (2008) states that the delivery of vocational skills as critical to Namibia’s future competitiveness in a global economy. The Act anticipates the establishment of a strategic plan that brings together trainees, employers, industry, government and training organisations in the delivery of such skills as a tool to foster productivity, economic growth and social inclusion.

The promotion of TVET programmes is also supported by a number of documents, including:

(1) Vision 2030 anticipates the transformation of the Namibian economy into an industrialised and knowledge-based economy. It challenges the country to implement an efficient and effective TVET system that is able to equip the youth with the necessary skills required to enter the labour market. In this context, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) is tasked with the responsibility of developing an efficient, effective and sustainable TVET system aligned with the current and future skills needs of the labour market. One of the NTA’s aims is to ensure access, equity and quality in TVET in Namibia.

(2) The Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) is the Namibian Government’s fourth five-year plan (2012/13-2016/17) to achieve its development objectives set forth in Vision 2030. NDP4 highlights the need to strengthen and expand the TVET sector to better serve the current and emerging needs of skilled human resources in the country. Some TVET related objectives of NDP4 include:

  • Increasing the number of enrolled trainees in TVET;
  • Linking TVET to envisaged priority economic sectors such as tourism, logistics and manufacturing;
  • Increasing the provision of TVET;
  • Providing adequate equipment and infrastructure and upgrading educators’ qualifications; and
  • Strengthening the management capacity and the quality of the TVET system.
(3) The Namibia Vocational Education Training Policy (2005) targets initial and ongoing education and training and stresses the significant role of TVET in assisting people to acquire the skills needed for the economy. Particularly the Policy recommends the following actions to overcome TVET barriers in the country:

  • Increase the engagement of the private sector in the TVET system ;
  • Improve the administration of vocational training centres (VTCs);
  • Introduce reforms concerning the financing of TVET and propose to fund TVET providers on the basis of performance and output;
  • Increase the capacity of TVET institutions to accommodate more students;
  • Reform TVET curricula through the introduction of competency-based education and training (CBET);
  • Enhance access to certification and qualifications through streamlining arrangements for the recognition of prior learning; and
  • Improve the coordination between community training centres, TVET pre-tertiary and tertiary institutions.

TVET legislation

  • The Vocational Education and Training (VET) Act No. 1 (2008) regulates the provision of TVET and has established the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and the National Training Fund. The Act aims to: (1) achieve an effective and sustainable system of skills formation that is aligned to the needs of the labour market; (2) establish a stable TVET system; and (3) establish and maintain a sustainable partnership between the government, the private sector and civil society.
  • The Education Act No. 16 (2001) provides for an accessible, equitable, qualitative and democratic education system and has established a number of key Government education bodies. The Act also guarantees all citizens to free basic education until grade 12.
  • The Namibia Qualifications Authority Act No. 29 (1996) provides for the establishment of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) whose task it is to oversee education and training on the national, regional and local levels.


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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC and based on UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education – Namibia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

After completing seven years of primary education, students proceed to a secondary education which completes 12 years of basic education. Secondary education is divided into junior secondary education that lasts 2 years, and a senior secondary education lasting 3 years. At the end of Grade 12 students can proceed to a 13th Grade enabling students to take subjects at the A level.

Formal TVET system

TVET programmes are offered at the primary and secondary education level. At the senior primary level, students are able to take one of three pre-vocational subjects: elementary agriculture; design and technology; and home ecology which also integrate entrepreneurial skills.

At the junior secondary education level, TVET is introduced in the curriculum through a pre-vocational and technical stream. Students are required to take six core curriculum subjects and can choose three TVET related elective subjects including: agriculture; computer studies; design and technology; accounting; entrepreneurship; visual art; integrated performing arts; hospitality; and subjects covering metalwork and welding, woodwork, construction, electricity and electronics.

At the senior secondary education level, students take a number of core curriculum subjects as well as some electives, including technical and vocational subjects. At Grade 11 students receive the National Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary and may proceed to Grade 12, attend programmes at vocational education and training institutions, or enter the labour market.

TVET programmes at the tertiary level are offered at the Polytechnic of Namibia. The polytechnic offers a variety of programmes in management, engineering, health, and computing. Programmes are offered at the undergraduate level through a number of tracks. TVET programmes are also offered at the postgraduate level.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Non-formal TVET programmes are provided by the private sector, nongovernment organisations (NGOs), religious organisations and vocational training and community skills development centres (COSDECs). NGOs and religious organisations tend to target socio-economically deprived sections of society offering TVET programmes to unemployed youth, women and the disabled. COSDECs, run by the Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF), offer short-term TVET programmes.

Lifelong learning initiatives including adult literacy programmes and open or distance learning courses are available at all levels of the education system. For example, at the tertiary level the Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning (COLL) – part of the Polytechnic of Namibia – offers a variety of courses aimed at students who wish to take classes and maintain their employment.

Despite the presence of a significant informal sector, particularly in the subsistence sector, there is no documentation on informal TVET in Namibia.


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3. Governance and financing


The education system is administered by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, and the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation. The TVET system in Namibia is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation. The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) aims to ensure a sustainable skills delivery system under which young Namibians are taught quality vocational and technical skills that meet the current and emerging needs of industries in Namibia. The NTA operates through:

  • The National Training Fund Council which assists the NTA to control and administer the National Training Fund and set out a framework for the implementation of the Vocational Education and Training Levy, as part of the National Training Fund;
  • The Standards, Assessment and Certification Council which assists the NTA in its task of developing and reforming the TVET system; and
  • The Industry Skills Committees comprised of senior people from industry, which aims to align the TVET systems to the needs of industry.


TVET in Namibia is financed through the National Training Fund, administrated by the NTA. The objective of the National Training Fund is to mobilise additional resources for skills development, and allocate funds for priority TVET training areas that meet the economic, technical and financial criteria. The National Training Fund is composed of:

  • Government funds;
  • Education and training levies, paid by employers (employers with an estimated annual payroll of Namibia $1,000,000-00 or above are required to pay the levy of 1% on annual payroll on a monthly basis);
  • Money collected by the NTA, including donations;
  • Any interest earned on investments of the Fund; and
  • Money which the Fund is or may become entitled.


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4. TVET teachers and trainers

The University of Namibia is responsible for training teachers while the Polytechnic of Namibia, through the Department of TVET, is responsible for the training of TVET trainers. The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) is responsible for the quality of TVET teachers and trainers.

The Polytechnic of Namibia offers a number of undergraduate programmes to become a TVET teacher or trainer. Potential TVET teachers and trainers are required to have completed grade 12 or have an equivalent qualification in order to attend courses provided by the Polytechnic of Namibia. TVET teacher and trainer programmes include:

  • A one-year Certificate in Vocational Education and Training programme to become a trainer;
  • A two-year Higher Certificate in Vocational Education and Training programme to become a trainer; and
  • A three- year Diploma in Vocational Education and Training Management programme.


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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

Programme Duration Qualification
Junior Secondary Education 2 years Junior Secondary Certificate (School report)
Senior Secondary Education 2 years National Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO)
Senior Secondary Education 3 years National Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Level (NSSCH)

Post-secondary vocational education

Programme Duration Qualification
Level 1 vocational training 1 years National Vocational Certificate Level 1
Level 2 vocational training 2 years National Vocational Certificate Level 2
Level 3 vocational training 3 years National Vocational Certificate Level 3
Level 4 vocational training 4 years National Vocational Certificate Level 4

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The National Qualification Framework (NQF) seeks to maintain a qualifications system that provides information on qualifications and corresponding academic achievements. It offers a means of harmonising qualifications attained in different education and training sectors and their alignment with the requirements of the labour market. The NQF is monitored and maintained by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) in collaboration with the Standards, Assessment and Certification Council under the Namibia Training Authority (NTA). The NQF is composed of 10 stages each representing a level of knowledge and set of skills.

Namibia Qualifications Authority (2014). Diagrammatic Form of the NQF. Accessed: 06.08.2014.

Quality assurance

The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and Namibia Training Authority (NTA) are responsible for the quality of TVET programmes. Specifically the NQA is responsible for the accreditation of TVET programmes and providers, while the NTA is responsible for the quality of TVET programmes, teachers, and institutions. Specifically, the Standards, Assessment and Certification Council is delegated by the Board of the NTA to oversee the registration and de-registration of Training Providers. The Council is also responsible for the approval of the registration of subject matter experts (SMEs) like Assessors, Moderators and Assessment Instrument Designers.

At the moment, accreditation of Training entities in Namibia is voluntary provided the institution wants to offer standards and qualifications registered on the NQF. The registration of Training entities however, is mandatory for all entities in the TVET sector involved in training on Levels 1-5 of the NQF.

The NTA, through its Assessment and Certification Division, and by engaging industry experts, is responsible for the coordination of national assessment and certification processes for the Vocational Education and Training system.


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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

The basic education and TVET systems are currently undergoing major curriculum transformations and the education systems provided in section two will be implemented as follows:

Phase/Grade Year of implementation
Junior Primary 2015
Senior Primary 2016
Grade 8 2017
Grade 9 2018
Grade 10 2019
Grade 11 2020
Grade 12 2021
Grade 13 (A level) 2022

The Namibia Training Authority is also undertaking a study on the expansion of vocational education and training in the country in order to meet the current and future demands and needs of industry and the labour market. The study is expected to assess the current state of the TVET sector in Namibia and recommend appropriate strategies to expand the provision of technical and vocational education and training. The study aims to result in:

  • Greater reach for the sector;
  • An enhanced training quality;
  • An increase in TVET programmes;
  • Diversified programme and qualifications based on key priority areas identified by Industry Skills Committees (ISCs);
  • Improvements in the success rate of graduates; and
  • Enhanced quality of the TVET system.


According to Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) (2007), the main challenges for TVET in Namibia are to:

  • Strengthen the management capacity of the system to respond to, and involve employers in policy decisions and directing the system;
  • Decentralise public skills provision to respond better to local requirements and stimulate initiatives; and
  • Enhance the quality of training.


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7. Statistical information(*)

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


Further reading

Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2015-10-01
Validated by: Namibia Training Authority

page date 2017-05-05

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