Education innovation key during lockdown

31 March 2020 | Education

OCTAVIA TSIBES

WINDHOEK



Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp says parents, teachers and learners must assist one another during the Covid-19 national state of emergency and Erongo and Khomas lockdowns.

Steenkamp has outlined steps taken by the ministry to keep education going during the school closure.



Digital library

Namibia has received a donation valued at US$1 million which grants children free access to a digital library for a year.

The digital reading app, called Namibia Reads, is available for free to primary and high school learners. The app allows young children easy access to narrated and illustrated eBooks in an environment free of advertising, animation, videos and games. The sponsorship was made possible by the Foundation for Accessible Children's Education (FACE.org), a New York-based non-profit organisation with a mission to enable children in underprivileged areas around the world to receive access to quality education through digital solutions.



Namcol tutorials

The education ministry is negotiating with the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol) to open its online tutorial lessons to all learners.

Steenkamp also encourages learners to utilise YouTube to study.

Teachers are urged to make use of a programme initiated last year, called Kopano Education Forum.

The programme, funded by Unesco, can be used by teachers to support and improve their pupils' examination results.

Steenkamp wants all schools to evaluate their resources and assist learners in any way they can. For example, they can ask local radio stations to broadcast lessons that would reach learners in rural areas. Steenkamp further says that the academic calendar will not change drastically, but she cannot give an exact date when schools will reopen. It was initially announced that school would resume on 14 April, but the subsequent lockdown will only end on 17 April.

The ministry will communicate a new date in due course.

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