Namibia
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Nursing school graduation ceremony compulsory if students want certificates

The I-Care Health Training Institute is threatening auxiliary nursing course students with deregistration and withholding their certificates if they do not attend their graduation ceremony.

The event is scheduled for 14 July in Windhoek, and students from all campuses are expected to attend.

The school has campuses in Windhoek and at Swakopmund, Ondangwa, and Karasburg.

In a message sent to the students and seen by The Namibian, the school’s director, Johannes George, said attending the graduation ceremony is compulsory.

“Failure to [attend] only means you will not receive your certificate, and it will be difficult for you to proceed to the enrolled nursing course,” he said in the message. To graduate, students have to pay N$3 000, including full graduation regalia they can keep, or N$2 200, including hired gear.

The due date for payments was last week.

In an effort to amplify the message, George explained in a voice note that the information about compulsory graduation was relayed to the students during orientation.

He said the school has submitted result certificates to the Nursing Council of Namibia, but the school would withhold actual auxiliary certificates if needed.

“Please take note, students who decide not to [attend] shall be deregistered. You will not be able to register for the next semester.

“So let’s make that clear. Let us not try to be funny, because you were already told before now to make all the necessary preparations,” he said.

Students, however, feel making attendance compulsory is unfair, since they have already spent N$15 000 on their full course.

They pleaded with the school to reconsider the decision.

“Not all of us can afford another N$3 000, and we really need to continue with our education,” one student said.

“We don’t know why they are making [attending the] graduation compulsory, because it’s not like I will get employment immediately with the certificate if I attend the ceremony,” another said.

Student representative council president Queendeline Kasanapi this week said she was not aware of the students’ complaints.

“They have not officially informed me about their challenges,” she said.George, when approached for comment this week, asked: “Do you wish that this institute be managed without governing policies and procedures in place? According to your understanding and experience, do graduation ceremonies take place at no cost, either on the institute or prospective graduate side?”

The Nursing Council of Namibia did not respond to questions by the time of going to print.