E-learning pilot project for Khomas
Katutura based after-school programme, Physically Active Youth (PAY) in partnership with Global Diploma (GmbH), a German company will run a pilot project operating a free online e-learning platform for three Windhoek High Schools with the goal of bringing high quality education with focus on computer literacy.
The pilot project will provide high quality e-learning platform to selected schools in the Khomas Region, namely, Augustineum, Windhoek High School and Academia Secondary School. The programme which is under the Directorate of Youth Development offers student extra-curricula classes for free in Life Skills, Education and Sports. 150 laptops will be donated to Namibian schools by Global Diploma with support from the acting Director of Education, Angeline Steenkamp. A request for customs clearance from the Ministry of Finance, Department for Customs and Excise for the import of the laptops has been applied for. In collaboration with The Tech Guys, a technology website company the programme offers the students from mostly disadvantaged backgrounds basic coding using world class free online platforms such as Code.org which is initiated by the U.S government department of Education and reputable Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook and Microsoft. While Tynker.com, a for profit online learning system tailored for kids has endorsed the P.A.Y efforts with free subscription. Marie Jeanne Ndimbira, Co-founder of Physically Active Youth (PAY) Namibia, Managing Director and educator at the after school centre said that they decided to permanently bring The Tech Guys team on board as a means in broadening the pilot projects nationally.
The learners mostly girls, from grade 9 and grade 10 are taught basic Java Script. A computer programming language which is most commonly used as part of web browsers. While Fablab, a small-scale workshop offers digital fabrication also involved at the programme, provides access to modern means of invention, teaches a separate mixed gender class of nine to thirteen year old students through its youth development project called FabRoots. The Tech Guys founder, Tsuutheni Emvula said that current government curriculum does not not address the digital divide. “Computer Science is a fairly new subject with the GSCE UK curriculum having the most comprehensive and flexible teaching structure.” Emvula said. “On top of that we also have the income gap which technology can reduce. Which is a problem world over. Seven students have passed Basic Java Script moving onto Advanced Java Script on another online free platform, KhanAcademey.org, Emvula said.” “By end of year they will posses basic knowledge for mobile applications and a basic foundation for digital literacy small steps in the The Tech Guys larger scheme of things of developing Namibia’s first space programme,” he added. The after school care programme’s Academic Coordinator Nenad Tomic said that the skill factor of computer science education is important in its economic value. Stressing that the partnership with the German UNICEF will significantly improve academic results of students and getting Namibia at par with world standards in the e-learning global development
Emvula is working together with partner, Mark Mushiva through a research project endorsed by the Polytechnic of Namibia in gauging how the Namibian students use ICT.