Education minister calls for more digital learning

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Windhoek

The inclusion of information communication technologies (ICT) should be incorporated into the teaching and learning activities of learners, says the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

“The learning architecture and landscape today is so very different from what we were exposed to 20 years ago. Therefore, we cannot remain stuck in our old ways of teaching,” Hanse Himarwa said at an event organised to hail the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) for emerging as one of 40 winners of a United Nations (UN) World Summit award for recently showcasing the world’s best practices in digital innovation.

Namibia was selected from 386 nominations for its ‘Notesmaster Namibia initiative’, a joint venture between NAMCOL and Notesmaster Global that started in 2012.

A variety of open learning resources have been developed and availed on the Notesmaster Namibia platform. The platform is interactive and engaging, enabling teachers and learners to undertake school activities in a digital setting, which makes learning more exciting. Teachers and learners in a number of centres around the country have been trained to use the platform, according to NAMCOL.

Hanse-Himarwa, who commended NAMCOL for its achievement, said the country is on the right path towards ICT emancipation, “and we are building this road as we walk it,” she added.

NAMCOL plays an integral part in Namibia’s path to the complete usage of ICT, the minister said.
“Government alone will not eliminate the digital divide caused by constraints, such as development and resources amongst others. Therefore, we should each play our part in this regard. I wish to commend the college leadership and all its stakeholders for their contribution to what we want to achieve as a country,” she stated.

Hanse-Himarwa said educators need to find creative ways to develop teaching materials to convey content to learners. “I’m happy to see that this is exactly what NAMCOL is doing through its Notesmaster initiative,” said Hanse-Himarwa.

The platform (Notesmaster) is interactive and content is presented in a variety of ways, so that learners can engage most of their senses while studying. In addition, content on Notesmaster is availed to all teachers and learners at no cost.

“The digital divide is created partly because access to important resources is denied through exorbitant fees. In many cases, teachers and learners can’t afford to pay the fees charged to access important resources.

“The creation of open educational resources is one of the innovative ways to assist in bridging the digital divide,” she concluded, while urging other institutions to follow in the footsteps of NAMCOL.

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