ODL workshop takes place in the capital

26 Sep 2013 11:30
WINDHOEK, 26 SEP (NAMPA) - The National Policy on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) should create the opportunity for people to study anywhere and anytime, Deputy Minister of Education Sylvia Makgone says.
Makgone was speaking here on Thursday during the one-day ODL policy stakeholders’ workshop, saying the provision of education through ODL provides access to education where there might otherwise not have been a possibility for someone to study through the traditional school system.
She added that ODL has the potential to open up opportunities to a wide range of learners by increasing access to education and by removing unnecessary barriers.
According to Makgone, the National Policy on ODL was developed in 2007 to guide the development and delivery of open and distance learning in Namibia. ODL has the potential to address Namibia’s educational and training needs in a cost-effective manner, and also the flexibility to accommodate varying levels of enrolment and the capacity to reach out to all corners of the country.
“Though the policy was developed, I am disappointed to note that it never got off the ground for implementation as intended,” she said.
The Deputy Education Minister noted that the Namibia Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNET) deemed it fit for the policy to be renewed and validated in order to accommodate current practices and evolving technology, and to align it with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s regional ODL policy adopted by the Ministry of Education in 2012.
The SADC ODL policy aims to support integration, harmonisation and maximisation of resources and regional standardisation of quality ODL provision in the SADC region.
She said the policy will not only be applicable to the ODL environment, but will also assist the ministry to address many challenges such as the need for lifelong learning and re-skilling.
“As we plan and work towards the realisation of Vision 2030 and a knowledge-based society, we need to ensure that the various forms of education in the country are well regulated, guided and directed towards the national developmental goals,” Makgone noted.
She furthermore said although there is a slight improvement in the passing rates of the formal school’s Grade 10 and 12 learners, their performance is still not at the desired level.
“Learners that do not get opportunities to continue with formal education still have platforms to enhance their educational endeavours through ODL. ODL is the answer to such situations,” she noted.
She told those in attendance at the workshop they have the responsibility of ensuring that the national education system produces quality products who will ultimately help Namibia in achieving Vision 2030 and the National Development Goals.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education.