By Marianne Nghidengwa
CONTROVERSY is brewing over the appointment of College of the Arts former lecturer as rector. Angelika Schroeder, who reportedly holds a diploma in dance, stands accused of poorly leading and inadequately governing the institution.
Lecturers and administrative staff from the college have since written a petition to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sanet Steenkamp dated July 19 calling for the cancellation of her post.
“The basic requirement for the appointments at the College of the Arts is a degree on National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level seven. This requirement applies for positions of arts lecturers, head of department, vice rector and rector respectively. Indisputably, the impugned appointment of Ms Schroeder was not made in compliance with the PSC circular of no. 3 of 2004 and the Public Service Act 1995. Even the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) questioned her suitability to provide educational leadership to the college prior to her appointment during their evaluation for the accreditation of the institution’s diploma programmes,” part of the petition reads.
Schroeder who initially served as a dance lecturer was promoted to head of department, then vice rector and finally rector within a space of approximately six years while reportedly holding only a diploma in dance, a situation that has infuriated many who now say that the college is becoming a secret garden whose internal practices are going unobserved.
The college’s management according to the petition was reportedly told by the Directorate of Arts under the education ministry that her promotions were based on the fact that she was pursuing an MA degree at the University of Namibia (Unam); however claims emerged that she was only enrolled for non-degree studies.
“This aspect is worth investigating. It is our contention that enrolment does not connote successful completion of required qualifications and arguments that rely on mere enrolment as a legal basis for promotion are clearly designed to condone disregard for the laws or our land and to somehow cure the defects in the rationale that was followed.
“In view of the aforementioned, Ms Schroeder’s appointment as rector and also her previous promotions to head of department and vice rector respectively are illegal and she does not thus have any legal right to continue as the rector of the College of the Arts,” the petition reads.
Amongst a host of allegations levelled against Schroeder is how at least three students who were pursuing a diploma in African Performing Arts (APA) reportedly graduated on the same day they wrote their exams in 2015.
Some students who had graduated reportedly did not get their diplomas to date with some allegedly frowning upon the education they received from the institution. “There is a concern on how she manages her time and is hardly on campus to check what is happening on the ground. It is nothing personal against her but against her capabilities to lead the institution to a bright future. We are worried about the college’s future, for those that study here and future generations. It is really a vicious cycle that must be prevented by removing her from that position of rector,” a source said. There are also allegations of the mismanagement of the college’s funds under her rule where financial priority is reportedly directed to unquantifiable ad hoc activities instead of departmental plans. Schroeder reportedly also took an amount of N$4 000 from the college coffers under the pretext that it was subsistence and travelling allowance for a trip to Otjiwarongo in August although she had reportedly already received her S&T for the same trip.
However, when contacted for comment Schroeder declined to respond to allegations levelled against her insisting that nothing was reported to her. She also declined to comment on her qualifications.
“I am not aware of any petition against me. I cannot comment on issues that I do not know about,” she repeatedly said.
Meanwhile the director of arts, Ervast Mtota also declined to comment on the basis Schroeder was appointed and said that he too is not aware of the petition.
“She (Schroeder) told me that she heard through the grapevine that people were planning on writing a petition against her but I didn’t know it was done,” Mtota retorted.
Efforts to get comment from the education ministry proved futile at the time of going to
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015