WINDHOEK, Sept. 21 – Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) – funded student Andre Kandundu is a beacon of light, unsatisfied by reaching the sky, instead setting his sights for the stars.
NSFAF awards students grants, scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance, not only for undergraduate studies, but all the way up to PhD level.
He has achieved Ambassador status in the halls of NSFAF and a manifestation of what NSFAF and the Namibian Government is trying to achieve by investing in education at a Tertiary level. Below, he explains in a question and answer session, his experiences so far.
What is your name?
Andre Kandundu, and I was Born in Rundu, Namibia where I attended Rundu Junior Primary from Grade 1-3 and then Grade 4-7 at Rudolf Ngondo Primary. I did my Grade 8-10 at Dr Alpo Mauno Mbamba Junior Secondary and then Grade 11-12 at Rundu Senior Secondary School.
How old are you?
I am 28 years old.
What did you study?
I studied the following:
1. Basic Education Teachers Diploma (BETD) at Windhoek College of Education now Khomasdal Campus
2. Bachelors degree in Education at Northwest University
3. Bachelor of Design (Hons) in Professional Design (Visual Communication) at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia (Asia)
4. Master’s Degree in Primary Education in the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education of the Philosophical Faculty at the University of Eastern Finland .
What do you do now?
At present, I am busy with my studies in Finland at the University of Eastern Finland and I am hoping to complete it towards the end of 2018 and I am specializing in global and trans-national education.
The Master’s degree programme focuses on international education policies, pedagogy and primary education. The programme also focuses on research-based teacher education and on how ICT can be blended into teaching.
Why did you decide to pursue education?
I have chosen education as a career because I believe that education is perhaps the most important function performed in any society I believe that teachers individually and collectively can not only change the world, but improve it.
In 2013, I received a scholarship to do a Bachelor’s of Design (Hons) in Professional Design (Visual Communication) in Malaysia. This is a course that’s quite different from the Educational field I had been busy in. This course made me learn how to create visual messages and broadcast them to the learners in new and meaningful ways. In the complex <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_environment> digital environment around us, communication design became a powerful means of reaching out to my learners. Communication Design discipline involved me teaching how to design mind games, teaching aids, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animation> animation, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_graphics> motion graphics and so much more for educational purposes.
How did you hear about NSFAF?
I first heard about NSFAF in the newspaper, that is when I encountered this great movement organization with great ambition to build the nation. NSFAF is not only there to fund the students but also to facilitate quality learning all through the life among people of any age group, creed, religion and region. Through this process of achieving knowledge, values, skills, beliefs, and moral habits are obtained which will benefit the nation. People need to get high level awareness about the importance of knowledge more than before.
How did NSFAF assist you?
Receiving this scholarship has boosted my self-confidence, knowing that I not only completed a very important task, but also took the responsibility of creating a foundation for getting me closer to my career goals. Being the first generation in my family to attend college, I have always aspired to learn the right way to manage money and to produce successful budgets. In addition NSFAF has helped me in my career as I got a chance to experience <https://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/uk-usa-education-system/> different styles of education I have the chance to see a side of my major that I may not have been exposed to at home.
Was it a positive experience to be involved with NSFAF?
Absolutely, YES. It was and still is a great positive experience to be involved with NSFAF.
This scholarship made a big difference in how much time and resources I have during college to spend on enhancing my experience and knowledge through service-learning, volunteer opportunities and internships. The money and security afforded by the scholarship allowed me to be more selective in how I spend my free time.
NSFAF helped in easing my financial burden, which allows me to focus on my studies. I promised NSFAF that this investment will not go to waste.
Has NSFAF helped you to reach your passion, dream and goals?
” Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it,” said Malcom X. Education has always been on the top of my priority list. I have taken part in educational programs and achieved awards and honors like in my college years. High GPAs are the indicators of my struggle and commitment. My determination and interest in the academic achievement is the basic reason behind my success so far. However, there are a number of hurdles in the achievements of my academic career. Although my performance so far is good but the results have been better because NSFAF got me a more comfortable environment and stable financial conditions.
The biggest and most important aim of my life is to achieve higher education with excellent academic results. It is because of NSFAF that my goals of getting a reputable designation in my career as well as becoming independent is met.
What advice do you have for learners, students who want to move forward with their studies
Students, at an early age have to know how to: self-regulate their learning, set their own academic goals , develop strategies to meet their goals and reflect on their academic performance.
What are your three top tips for aspiring students?
1. Take the risk.
We never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it.
2. Believe in yourself.
Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.
3. Learn from mistakes.
Any mistake you make should be your best teacher. When you learn from your mistakes, you move closer to success — even though you initially failed.
Where do you see yourself in 5 and in 10 years’ time?
To be honest, I do not dream big. I have just graduated and I know I need to learn a lot still. My plan is to be a really good teacher in five years’ time, to be proud on the work I do every day. Ideally I would love to work in the education sector be it at any division of education in our country as long as our Namibian education is being impacted positively.
My goals are mostly personal. I feel very fulfilled as a teacher, so if I succeed to get my skills and knowledge passed on to the country or Namibian schools, I will be pretty happy. However, I do not want to stagnate and plan to enrich my education and knowledge over time. Hopefully I will be a more complete human being in five years, someone whose family and the nation can be proud of. – NDN Staffer