Oshakati – As part of its strategy to increase the pass-rate among its learners, the Namibia College of Open Learning (NamcoL) has introduced a block tuition system.
Namcol is Namibia’s biggest centre of open learning and distance education and offers out of school classes to thousands of learners.
During a stakeholders meeting at Namcol offices in Ongwediva, Namcol director Herold Murangi said block tuition will take place during formal school holidays only.
Although the block tuition system will only be implemented at selected schools on a trial basis, Namcol intends to move away from the current practice, where learners attend classes in the afternoons.
After the holidays students are expected to use other channels provided by Namcol, including television programmes, You Tube, CDs among others.
Attractive packages will be also offered to teachers that participate in block tuition.
Until recently, tutors offering part-time classes at Namcol were paid N$120 per hour. This has now been increased to N$300 per hour, with the limit of two subjects a day. This means a part-time teacher can now earn up to N$600 per day.
This offer enables Namcol to attract competent teachers, and – according to Murangi – Namcol only intends to select teachers with good performance records.
Learners will be expected to attend classes from 08h00 to 18h00 during block tuition time.
The block tuition system will address the need for the most sought-after face-to-face interaction, which at the moment is not very effective, as the teachers at times complain of fatigue, after knocking off from duty at formal schools.
At times the workload from their full-time jobs also does not permit them to prepare adequately for Namcol lessons, or to offer extra activities to students, as required.
Students also face the challenge of having to walk long distances, as at times their classes end late in the evening.
This results in a low turnout of students at classes.
Hence, the need to introduce block tuition during school holidays, when Namcol classes will not interfere with formal education.
In this way, it is hoped, tutors will be able to focus on Namcol learners and students will be able to attend classes from morning hours.