This morning’s panellists at the Covid-19 Communication Centre will address the issue of e-learning development by the education ministry.

From left: The panelists are deputy information minister Emma Theofelus (moderator), Namibia College for Opening Learning (Namcol) deputy curriculum development director Jan Nitschke and education ministry information technology deputy director Johan van Wyk.
Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Nitschke says distance education students are more advantaged than full-time students as they receive all study material when they register. He said face-to-face classes have been disrupted, but Namcol has seen to it that learning sessions reach students. He said they can listen to sessions on radio and access information on their website.

Speaking on e-learning, Van Wyk said it is not something new and the ministry introduced it in 2010 already.

Jan Nitschke

He said schools have been encouraged to use technology in class. Despite this, internet in schools is a challenge, as well as students with no or limited access to technology.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said students have been struggling to access study material.

Nitschke said e-learning is still a challenge for students, because without devices they would have no access to study material. “It’s time we make resources available in rural areas to ensure everyone has access to online learning,” he said.

He said printing material and offline resources is an option for students with no access to online learning.
He said Namcol is using its multimedia platform to disburse study material.

Namcol’s deputy director said the centre has always embraced e-learning and rolled out the initiative in 2012. He said Namcol then started making study material accessible online, and anyone who wishes to access the information for free can do so on the website.

He said the centre was heeding the government’s call to accelerate e-learning, but there is a need for the support of all teachers to help develop resources.

“We encourage schools with teachers willing to assist us to contact us and be part of our team to develop full curriculums for Grades 8 to 12. We want to develop material such as video, audio and animated clips. We cannot do this alone, we need the assistance of teachers,” he said.

Van Wyk said the education ministry is discussing internet availability with the telecommunications sector to make e-learning accessible to students and teachers. He said despite discussions, these services would come at a cost.

HEALTH UPDATE: Deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue this morning said there are no new confirmed Covid-19 cases. She said there are now nine recoveries and seven active, but asymptomatic cases. Muinjangue said no deaths from Covid-19 have been reported.

“As of yesterday, cumulative samples tested at the two labs stand at 1 402. Our daily targets are 100, and yesterday 120 tests were administered,” she said.

Moreover, 240 contacts have been traced.

In total, 1 160 people have been quarantined and 500 have been discharged. Currently there are over 300 people still in quarantine facilities.

“People are trying their best to wear masks, and we ask Namibians to continue adhering to the rules,” the deputy minister said.

Esther Muinjangue
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