Special schools transition to e-learning

05 May 2020 | Education



Schools in Namibia are transitioning from classroom to online teaching, and special schools have also tackled this challenge.

They have modified online lessons and host virtual check-ins with learners in the new world of distance learning.

According to deputy director of special programmes and schools, Leopoldine Nakasole, they have created WhatsApp groups with teachers from special schools to share learning materials that are simplified for different grades.

“The individual teachers are also communicating with the parents of children with intellectual impairments and sharing what they can do with their children at home, depending on which phase they are,” she said.

Audio and video

Nakasole added that at the school for the deaf, teachers were asked to record video lessons using sign language.

“They prepare their lessons the same way they would conduct a face-to-face lesson. The recorded lesson is then sent to specific learners via mobile,” she said. Learners without access to the internet receive printed booklets from the school.

The schools for visually impaired learners use the same strategy, but they print their booklets in large font.

“For those who are totally blind, the teachers record audio which is then sent to the learners and they also provide them with Braille booklets for different subjects.”

Schools for learners with learning difficulties were instructed to record video and audio and simplify the booklets in such a way that learners are able to understand.

Nakasole emphasised that it is the responsibility of every teacher to make sure that there are enough booklets for all learners and that they receive their learning material.

“You make sure that at the end of every week, you assess the learners' performance. Every Friday, the teachers follow up and give memos for the test which is included in the booklets,” she said.

Nakasole added that this same e-learning process is followed by other schools, with the difference that teaching children with disabilities requires teachers to pay extra attention to their learners.

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