On 7 April 2016, UNIC Windhoek proudly launched the High School Practicum Programme, a first, for the UN in Namibia. In attendance were representatives of various high schools in Windhoek, who were designated by their school principals to attend this important launch. Namibian schools are writing exams currently, thus the UNIC team fully appreciated the attendance and support of the designated representatives.
Leading the presentation, Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer for UNIC Windhoek, elaborated on how through innovative campaigns and partnerships, this programme aims at empowering the next generation of world leaders to work with the United Nations and take on global challenges. Equipped with this, the students will be encouraged by the programme to develop leadership skills and civic awareness, and will stay informed on the perspectives and issues affecting nations across the world.
The teachers present received this programme with much delight and acknowledged that it will equip their students with life skills and help them make more informed career choices, as they will be exposed to a wider world which an ordinary student would otherwise not have been exposed to. The teachers also pointed out that UNIC Windhoek was already doing a great job with their educational school outreach programmes, and this new programme will be an asset to the students in future.
The high school practicum programme is an internship programme for senior students in high school. Students participate in a 5 week intensive learning programme focusing on five major components:
- Learning about the UN
- Undertaking volunteer work
- Model UN Clubs
- Climate Change
- Sustainable Development Goals
The programme is designed for students aged 16 and older, application deadline is on the 26th of April and is open to all grade 10-12 learners. The first intake for 2016 will undertake their practicum during the May 2016 holidays.
The aim of the programme is to expose Namibian high school students to a global classroom where they can learn important life skills and engage in active citizenship. It is structured to provide youth with an opportunity to learn more and aid in contributing to the development and growth of the Namibian student through the work of the UN.
Teachers noted that the programme is a “great opportunity,” “a good encouragement to our students,” “an excellent opportunity for the youth,” “not many countries offer such opportunities for the youth to engage with the UN (international teacher noted).”
The UNIC team look forward to the first intake and have undertaken to ensure that this programme becomes a valuable tool for the young high school students in Namibia to develop and expand their horizons as active global citizens and agents of change.