09 Aug 2014 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 09 AUG (NAMPA) Efforts to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into Namibian education are challenged by a lack of financial, human and physical resources.
This was demonstrated by a number of volunteers from all over the world who spent three months in various schools around the country.
The volunteers who served under WorldTeach Namibia had an ICT conference in Windhoek on Tuesday to give an account of what they experienced and observed at the different schools they were placed at during their stay in Namibia.
Speaking at the one-day conference, Kathrin Stout who was placed at the Diaz Primary School in Lüderitz in the //Karas Region said the school had only nine computers available for both teachers and learners, which hampered effective ICT training. She added that the school had access to Wi-Fi (wireless internet), but this was mainly used by teachers for their smartphones, and not really for educational purposes.
Another volunteer who spoke at the conference was Gary Aitken, who was placed at Ponhofi Secondary School in the Ohangwena Region. Aitken said the school had an inadequate server that was small and would get overloaded most of the time.
He also said there were not enough computers for all learners in a class, and software was set up inconsistently, making it difficult for the teacher to teach the same thing to different learners at the same time.
The conference recommended that more attention be given to the ICT as it cuts across all subjects, and that it should be made a compulsory subject so it can receive more attention from the Education Ministry and teachers countrywide.
The meeting also proposed that teachers should be made computer literate and should be forced to use programmes such as Microsofts PowerPoint in classrooms for presentation purposes to promote e-learning and ICT. This would also help school move towards paper-free education.
Besides the shortage of computers and ICT-literate teachers, another challenge is the lack of electricity at many schools around the country.
Volunteers working under WorldTeach are placed at schools throughout the country and teach a variety of subjects such as English, mathematics and science.