Education ministry, Namcol launch eLearning project

07 July 2021 | Education

Windhoek ∙ Michelline Nawatises

The Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol), in conjunction with the ministry of education, arts and culture, launched an e-Learning project in which Namcol produced materials for use especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sanet Steenkamp, education ministry executive director, delivered the keynote address on behalf of the education minister, Ester Anna Nghipondoka, at the launch of the eLearning Resources.

She said Namibia as a country recognises and strives to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in this era of uncertainty that has caused the biggest education disruption due to the pandemic.

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) contributes to the SDGs of the country by improving the delivery and management of education, she said.

“In our context, Namcol inevitably becomes a focal point in terms of making distance learning an option for all,” she said.

The ministry has played a significant role in the past to support Namcol’s eLearning content development as a way of increasing access to education in the country.

eLearning in this context refers to content that is delivered through text, images, animation, audio and video through the internet, using CDs, DVDs and USBs, accessible through personal computers, mobile phones, television, CD and DVD players.

It is also believed that eLearning makes learning simpler, easier, and more effective as it allows learners to engage with content and to interact with one another.

“As educators, we believe that the more engaging the content is, the better the learners can remember it,” she said.

As a ministry, they approached Namcol to spearhead the development of digital content that could be used for teaching and learning anywhere in our country. The ministry allocated N$19.2 million to the project for the development of radio, video and online resources in all subjects covering grades 8 to 11.

The project involved about 950 subject matter experts who are mainly subject teachers as well as education officers from all 14 regions. Namcol played a role in spearheading the project, which included training content developers and recording and producing the lessons in different formats.

The following number of lessons have been completed and are available for use by the learners:

• 360 radio lessons

• 285 video lessons

• More than 3 000 notes for internet-based content developed on the Notesmaster platform.

Namcol CEO Dr Heroldt Murangi said we are now living in the age of the “Es”, there are e-governance, email, e-wallet and e-learning, to mention a few. He added that the value of partnership in times like these cannot be overstressed.

“The partnership with the ministry has impacted positively on our institution in terms of building the capacity of staff as well as gaining recognition,” he said. Murangi said they will now commence with the development of content for AS level while at the same time ensuring that outstanding content for grades 8 to 11 is completed.

Although Namcol has developed e-resources in the past, this project has topped the list in terms of the number of resources produced within a shortest period of time.

“Needless to say, partnership in eLearning is the way to go,” Murangi concluded.

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