About Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL)

About Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL)

NAMCOL - Namibian College Of Open Learning



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.

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 country wide. 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) on 29 October 1998, Honourable John Mutorwa.
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.


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 sufficient resources to continue developing and offering programmes in future
Quality: To strive for the highest standards of service deliver
Efficiency: To make the best use of available resources
Accountability:To provide our stakeholders with convincing evidence of the value of what we do.
Reliability: To provide accurate and trustworthy information on our activities.
Responsiveness: To address emerging challenges and training needs in a timely fashion.
Transparency: To be open and fair in all our business operations
Continuity: To contribute to lifelong learning experiences of learners
Excellence: To pursue the goal of continuous improvement in everything we do.

NAMCOL History


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.


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).


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.)


In 1994, the Interim Development Board was appointed by the 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:

  • Directorate of Adult Education (DABE) and
  • Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education


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.

Founding Director of NAMCOL,

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-BathPartnership 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.

Frances Ferreira (nee, Mensah)