Windhoek Gymnasium set to introduce an online school solution in 2021 – Deadline for applications mid-November
A new online school offering flexible yet structured education to Grade 4 to 12 learners across Namibia and other SADEC countries is set to be launched in January 2021, by Windhoek Gymnasium, a school managed by Curro Holdings, the JSE-listed independent education provider.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown period, Windhoek Gymnasium’s virtual and remote learning strategy proved to be a great success,” said Colette Rieckert, Managing Director of Windhoek Gymnasium in a statement this week.
“With the online learning strategy in full effect, it soon became clear that there is a great need among parents, especially outside the Windhoek Gymnasium family, who are eager for their children to obtain a quality education, but for whom it is not possible to physically send their children to school here,” she added.
According to Rieckert, the flexible education model is ideal for families who travel frequently or who live in neighbouring countries; for learners who have major commitments that affect their ability to attend classes at set times; as well as for children who desire flexibility to complete the work at times that suit them.
Riecker said Windhoek Gymnasium remains first and foremost a physical brick-and-mortar school where learners can continue to attend classes on campus. “The Online School offering is therefore an additional education option available to parents and learners who prefer this as a learning alternative,” she said.
The Online School will implement the ‘HyFlex’ or hybrid flexible teaching model, which will see learners attending pre-recorded online classes from home, as presented by Windhoek Gymnasium’s highly qualified teachers. This is combined with scheduled face-to-face sessions over three days every month with fellow online classmates at Windhoek Gymnasium.
The purpose of the monthly face-to-face sessions at the school allows for a thorough ‘deep dive’ and intense revision of the work that online learners had to cover on their own. These contact sessions also provide learners with the opportunity to participate in practical-based group activities such as coordinating science experiments or building a robot. This is in line with the school’s vision to assist with learners’ holistic development by creating opportunities for them to socialise and collaborate, she said.
Meanwhile, large assessments, such as test weeks and examinations, will continue to be written under controlled conditions at Windhoek Gymnasium. As with Windhoek Gymnasium’s ‘full time’ learners, the online school’s learners will follow the Namibian National Curriculum, with Grades 11 and 12 writing the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level, underscribed by Cambridge.
Learning at your own pace
The flexibility provided by the Online School is ideal for learners who are motivated and committed to a self-study environment. Once registered to the school’s online platform, learners will have access to the video recordings of classes. This means dedicated learners will be able to move through the curriculum at their own pace.
Rieckert stressed that the Online School is not a home-schooling model, where parents need to take on the responsibility of teaching and continuous supervision. It is a learn-from-home online model. The parent thus assumes a smaller supervisory role similar to the role they would normally fill (e.g. checking that the learner has done their homework).
“All the years of funding and development of our online offerings have paid off during lockdown, as Curro was well-positioned to pivot to an online learning environment. We are grateful that we’re able to expand our online offering even further, ultimately continuing with our mission to offer quality independent education to more learners across Southern Africa,” commented Andries Greyling, CEO of Curro.
Registration for the Windhoek Gymnasium Online School is open to any learner in Namibia and other SADEC countries, and learners do not need to have any prior association with the school to apply. Fees for the primary school are N$ 3800 and N$ 4700 for the high school, and the deadline for applications is 15 November 2020.