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Community outreach pilot project for Omaheke launched

(From left to right) Cornelius Tjizoo, Senior Education Officer, Omaheke Region, Operi Murangi, Project Officer of Ounongo Technology Centre, Gobabis, Oiva Angula, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Telecom Namibia and Dr. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Director: Software Engineering Department at the launch of the Namibia Knowledge Portal Project.

(From left to right) Cornelius Tjizoo, Senior Education Officer, Omaheke Region, Operi Murangi, Project Officer of Ounongo Technology Centre, Gobabis, Oiva Angula, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Telecom Namibia and Dr. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Director: Software Engineering Department at the launch of the Namibia Knowledge Portal Project.

The Polytechnic of Namibia, Telecom Namibia and the Ounongo Technology Centre (OTC) have joined forces to launch a community outreach pilot project to support rural schools’ curricular and extra curricular activities in the Omaheke Region.
The project named Namibia Knowledge Portal Project will also support out-of-school youth and rural communities at large in creating and disseminating knowledge through web portals and mobile applications.
One of its primary objectives is to promote the usage of local languages and local content creation, which is to be anchored in further educational and socio-economic endeavours.
The project received the nod from the Regional Director of Education in the Omaheke Region.
Speaking at the launch this week, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, rector of the Polytechnic said the proposed regional knowledge and service portal will be built on an ICT platform connecting the regional centre with the rural nodes.
“It will enable various accesses to modes of knowledge, knowledge co-creation and collaboration as well as to service such social network services which support core and extra-curricular educational and economic activities,” he said.
“This is a novel project for Namibia,” said Oiva Angula, Senior Manager: Corporate Communications & Public Relations at Telecom Namibia.
“We see this knowledge portal we are announcing today as having great value for Learning, and Information and Communication for the beneficiaries. Consequently, through the knowledge portal we will seek to connect, inform and share,” Angula added.
“This initiative is a community outreach project aiming to support rural schools’ curricular and extra-curricular activities as well as to build capacity and to promote ICT in communities to foster a knowledge-based economy,” said, Dr. Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Director Software Engineering in the School of Information Technology at the Polytechnic.
Dr. Winschiers-Theophilus said that web portals had become a major source of knowledge and information for diverse populations across the world in the last decade. “When portals are effectively used, they allow for self-paced learning, virtual instruction and other web services where the portal provides links to cultural/technological information that is inextricably connected to other web-based sources,” she said.
The project is logistically driven by the Ounongo Technology Centre and conceptually supported by staff of the Polytechnic from the School of Information Technology and the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC).
The Polytechnic staff will support at technical, educational, and service level while OTC will provide training space. Telecom’s input includes a monetary contribution of up to N$200,000 as well as internet and technical centres at six schools and the OTC offices in Gobabis.

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