By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Radio is arguably the most accessible medium of education at present in both terms of geographical reach and the prevalence of radios per capita across Africa. This is one of the advantages emphasized last week by the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, when she officially inaugurated the new education radio studio at the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol) in Katutura. The institution and the National Broadcasting Corporation of Namibia (NBC) at the same occasion signed a formal agreement for it to broadcast for free produced programmes on a regular basis. “This education radio project was initiated in 2004 by the Ministry of Education to enhance radio broadcasting in the country as part of new developments in the education and training sector. Namcol was entrusted with the responsibility to manage this initiative under a signed agreement with the ministry. This is indeed collaboration in action,” Ndjoze-Ojo said. Several other ministries are also involved in the project, the first of its kind in the country. “Radio has proven its worth as far as pedagogical importance is concerned because it can be used to fulfill certain teaching functions, i.e. motivate learners and increase interest in specific topics. It transcends literacy barriers and yet is credible because it addresses the single listener personally and it can be used to benefit weaker students when used as a supplementary tool,” she said. The unavailability of broadcasting material and a lack of skilled professionals who can produce high quality educational radio programmes, Ndjoze-Ojo singled out as problematic and the limitations for education radio broadcasting. “We anticipate that full broadcasting of education programmes will commence in early 2007 after a number of pilot programmes had been produced in workshop situations over the past few months. A state-of-the-art recording studio had been constructed and digital recording equipment have been acquired,” said the outgoing director of Namcol, Frances Ferreira, in a welcoming speech. She also formally and emotionally bid farewell to her staff at the same occasion after more than a decade at the helm of the distance education institution to take up a post on 22 January in Canada.