Electronic Learning Gains Momentum


By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK An agreement for the first electronic learning center for Namibian teachers, to become operative shortly, was on Monday signed between a local and German company. The chairman of the board of the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet), Dr Tjama Tjavikua, signed the agreement with representatives of the German company known as InWEnt. “The Ministry of Education just announced the provision of N$19 million through ETSIP for the use of information and communication technologies in schools. This isn’t just to put computers in schools though. This is to deploy ICT’s in teacher training colleges, schools and vocational training centers; to develop curricula and educational content; to train teachers and to provide technical support throughout the country. This is not a new programme, but a revolution,” said Tjivikua at the signing of the agreement in a statement. He proudly announced that by next week the electronic learning centre would be operative in the country. “With the launch of the centre, electronic learning, also called ‘e-learning’, is set to dramatically grow in the coming months in Namibia and Southern Africa. Last year InWent was approached by the Office of the Prime Minister to assist the education sector to develop new approaches for the delivery of teacher training and adult learning. After consultations the two companies agreed to work together to promote the development of e-learning technologies and e-skills training to support the World Summit on the Information Society’s call ‘to build a people-centered, inclusive, development-oriented information society,” Tjivikua said on behalf of the two companies. According to the statement, the e-learning center is bringing together ICT and education partners from around the country. “The system will ensure that Namibia’s educators have access to up-to-date educational content and training by facilitating online training programmes as well as regularly reviewing the mass of information available in electronic format. This is no small task given a search for ‘educational content’ online will turn up over 385 000 000 possible website pages,” he said.