The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has received a mobile science laboratory van from Nedbank, Rӧssing Foundation and other stakeholders to improve teaching and learning at schools, especially in the rural areas.
Nedbank pledged to provide two more vans over the next three years. The mobile laboratory van is a replica of the Rӧssing Foundation’s English, Math and Science centres that operate in Swakopmund, Arandis and Ondangwa.
“It’s a school on wheels, fully equipped with teaching equipment, educational material, library, teachers, digital technology and work space,” says the Foundation’s executive director, Job Tjiho.
He adds that the Foundation’s training focus is on sciences, mathematics and English as basic components for knowledge and academic advancement: “It provides support to teachers to better equip them for practical work and related teaching exposure and experience”.
Tjiho further says the van will be stationed in the southern part of the country and partner regions will identify one to three needy schools in their regions, set clear timeframes and a team from the Foundation and advisory teachers from the ministry will then address then identified challenges at those schools.
He says the mobile van will be stationed at a school for a full week twice a year to assist teachers and learners to provide quality education delivery. “It is foreseen that these efforts will result in improved competencies and better end-of-year results,” he remarked.
Chairperson of Rӧssing Foundation Asser Kapere adds that the Foundation came to realise that in many instances its centres only benefit schools, teachers and learners in urban areas and those who are able to transport teachers and learners to the centres.
“However, many rural schools with dire needs in self-development and enrichment continue to miss out on the opportunities offered by the Rӧssing Foundation’s centres,” Kapere observed.
Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa also said that someone had to come up with an innovative approach to extend enrichment benefits to rural school through reasonable means. She says after some serious soul searching and in-depth research in how others globally have addressed these challenges, the Foundation team arrived at a strategy of finding caring partners in educational development to fund a mobile solution to assist in reaching disadvantaged rural schools in the regions.
“The solution was an English, mathematics and science mobile laboratory, capable of bringing the same quality of service to the doorstep of our rural schools, responding to the call of our President Hage Geingob, that no Namibian should be left behind,” said the education minister.