Virtual universities coming to Namibia soon

30 May 2013 08:10
WINDHOEK, 30 MAY (NAMPA) ? The Namibian Government is in the final stage of implementing an e-learning project, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Joel Kaapanda announced here on Thursday.
Speaking during the E-Learning Africa 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development, Education and Training, which started on Wednesday, Kaapanda said the Government of India is assisting Namibia in the implementation of e-learning.
The three-day conference is held under the theme ?Policy and Innovation in Education in Africa?.
The project will focus on the establishment of virtual universities (e-learning centres).
The virtual universities, the minister explained, will be connected to several universities in India, and local prospective students can then enrol for tertiary studies in India while attending their classes in Namibia through video conferencing.
?In 2012, the Namibian Government in partnership with India implemented the e-health project which was installed at the Windhoek Central Hospital. The centre is currently in operation,? the ICT minister said.
Kaapanda said now with the presence of an e-health facility, virtual treatment can be effected through video conferencing, cutting the cost of travelling for both the doctor and the patient.
Usually, Government has to fly in foreign and specialist doctors to attend to patients diagnosed with complicated health problems or sometimes has to fly out patients to other countries to get treatment for sicknesses which could not be treated in local hospitals.
?The e-learning project is more or less similar to the e-health project, but its focus will be on establishing virtual universities,? he noted.
In its quest to make e-learning a reality, Namibia, with the support of the Indian Government, also plans to establish a national information technology institute which will address the ICT skills shortage in the country.
Kaapanda further said ICT is no doubt an enabler for socio-economic development, hence the Namibian Government is committed to ensuring ICT is integrated in all sectors of the economy for the betterment of its citizens.
?Government?s commitment to the development of ICT is also prominently echoed in the National Development Plan 4, which strives to address the steady implementation of ICT-based teaching and learning, both in schools and tertiary institutions,? Kaapanda said.