Bandwidth for learning
The event was attended by representatives from MTC, Telecom and Xnet Development Alliance Trust, along with various senior managers, faculty staff and students of the polytechnic. The advisor to the Polytechnic Rector, Professor Tyobeka, said in his opening speech, “The greater significance of this day lies in the fact that it is becoming part of the institutional culture for innovation and excellence. I am pleased and delighted to see the progress made so far in integrating technologies and innovation in all spheres of the institutional life.”
The Polytechnic has state of the art computer labs, smart boards, web-conferencing, ePortfolio software and eLearning courses offered in the blended and fully fledged online modes. In support of the continuous research outputs and the integration of technology in teaching, learning and assessment, the academics have regular professional development opportunities to keep abreast of the latest developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
As such, the Professor Tyobeka said the Polytechnic acknowledges the strategic importance of ICT and bandwidth in enhancing and driving quality teaching and learning in higher education.
The aim of this annual event is to allow stakeholders and academics to showcase best practices and engage in debates and discussions on the role and relevance of ICT in education.
“Bandwidth is a valuable resource that aids in speeding up communication processes and therefore assists in providing effective teaching and learning practices. It has been proven that the level of development of a country is largely connected to its ability to use and master new technologies and its access to sufficient bandwidth.”
The service providers representatives, Theo Klein from Telecom and Patrick Mushimba from MTC both confirmed that in recent years, the amount of bandwidth usage in the southern African region and subsequently in the country as well, has increased tremendously but that there is still room for improvement.
Wilfred Kuria from Xnet reiterated the fact that more bandwidth meant more access for students hence more research will be done. His point was supported by the Dean of the School of Computing and Informatics, Hippolyte Muyingi who added that there are challenges such as meeting the demands of the students, adding that the booming of knowledge raises the question of what is relevant and what is not anymore. “We need to embrace technology, by using technology to inspire whilst conveying knowledge”
Laurent Evard, the Director of ICT at the Polytechnic, emphasized that in today’s world it is essential for every individual to be ICT literate, “Educational content is increasingly digitalized” he stated. He also pointed out that Namibia needs to increase bandwidth by 300% to meet countries such as Canada. He is however, positive about this aspect because prices keep falling. He also mentioned that the Polytechnic spends about N$3.5 million per year on bandwidth.