From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
For entities in Namibia see Category:Namibia
Experts situated in Namibia
Namibia in a nutshell
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia (Afrikaans: Republiek van Namibië, German: Republik Namibia), is a country in Southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the east, and South Africa to the south and east.
It has been given many names: the land of contrasts, the land God made in anger, the ageless land. For many years it was known only as South West Africa, but it adopted the name Namibia, after the Namib Desert.
It gained independence from South Africa in 1990.
Its population is just over 2 million. It is the second least densely populated country in the world, after Mongolia.
Its capital and largest city is Windhoek (German: Windhuk).
Namibia is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth of Nations and many other international organisations.
The official language is English. Until 1990, German and Afrikaans were also official languages. Long before Namibia's independence from South Africa, it had been decided that the country would become officially monolingual, consciously choosing this approach in contrast to that of its neighbour. Therefore, English became the sole official language of Namibia. Afrikaans, German, and Oshiwambo became recognised regional languages.
Education in Namibia
Namibia has compulsory free education for 10 years between the ages of 6 and 16 with 7 years of Primary education and 5 years of secondary education.
Schools in Namibia
In 1998, there were 400,325 Namibian students in primary school, about 80% of those eligible, and 115,237 students in secondary schools, about 34% of those eligible. The pupil-teacher ratio in 1999 was estimated at 32:1, with about 8% of the GDP being spent on education.
Most schools in Namibia are state-run, however, there are a few private and semi-private schools that serve the country's education system. Among these are St. Pauls College, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool, Deutsche Höhere Privat Schule and Windhoek Gymnasium. Click here for an incomplete list of schools in Namibia.
Namibia' Ministry of Education is, in part, supported by the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) in Okahandja. NIED is responsible for the Nation's curriculum development, educational research, and professional development of teachers.
This phase was transferred from the Ministry of Education to local communities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Regional, Local Government and Housing in 1995. With the creation of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare in 2000, pre-primary education and broader aspects of early childhood development catering for the under 6 years-old age group were assigned to the new Ministry.
This phase consists of the Lower Primary (Grades 1 - 4) and Upper Primary (Grades 5 – 7). By the year 2000, there were 998 primary schools, of which, 952 were government schools and the rest were private schools. These schools catered for a total of 406,623 learners at this phase. The policy of continuous assessment based on a set of competencies that learners are expected to acquire, provides the basis for the promotion of learners from one grade level to the other. A national Grade 7 examination in Maths, English and Science was introduced for the first time in 2000, to help monitor learner acquisition of the basic competencies at the end of the primary phase.
The secondary phase consists of Junior Secondary, catering for Grades 8 – 10 and the Senior Secondary school, which caters for Grades 11 and 12. There were 129 secondary schools in the year 2000, enrolling 132,698 learners. Learners write the Junior Secondary examinations at the end of Grade 10 and the Senior Secondary School "International General Certificate of Secondary Education" and the "Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education" (IGCSE/HIGCSE) examinations at the end of Grade 12. (1)
Further and Higher education
There are four Teacher Training Colleges, three Colleges of Agriculture, a Police Training College, a Polytechnic at university standard, and a National University.
Universities in Namibia
There seems to be just one university in Namibia, the University of Namibia (http://www.unam.na). This has a Centre for External Studies, which ensures that quality higher educations is accessible to the nation through the provision of distance and open learning programmes. CES collaborates with faculties and other University Centres to offer formal programmes leading to degrees, diplomas and certificates as well as non-formal programmes. It operates through three departments of: Materials Development and Instructional Design; Student Support; and the Department of Continuing Education.
CES is also responsible for the management of eight University Regional Centres and manages a large office at the Northern Campus in Oshakati. Regional activities and services are supported by regional administrative and student support officers.
Polytechnics in Namibia
Polytechnic of Namibia http://www.polytechnic.edu.na/
Colleges in Namibia
Namibian College of Open Learning http://www.namcol.com.na/
College of The Arts, Windhoek http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_the_Arts,_Windhoek
The Ministry of Education has developed a fifteen year strategic plan (2005/6 – 2020), namely the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP), which is a comprehensive reformation of the education and training sector. The main aims of ETSIP include the following:
ICT Policy for Education Consistent with the objectives of Vision 2030 and ETSIP, the Namibian Ministry of Education adopted an ICT policy for education in 2003 which is an update of the original policy developed in 1995 and revised in 2000. Developed by a mixed working group drawn from the two Ministries of Education, the policy reflects recent developments in pedagogy, research, technology, and partnerships and provides a comprehensive and holistic range of issues in its goal to access and use ICTs across the education sector. The priority areas for the policy are colleges of education and related in-service programmes; schools with secondary grades; teacher education programmes at tertiary institutions; vocational training; primary schools; libraries and community centres; adult education centres; and special needs education. The policy objectives are to:
teachers across the curriculum
from the classroom, school library, through the school, and on to the sector as a whole
education system and set specific criteria and targets to help classify and categorise the different development levels of using ICT in education
The policy also provides specific strategies for providing of ICT services; staff training; curriculum and performance measures; national technical standards; societal issues; open and distance learning; library, community sport and culture; public private partnerships; education management; and financing. (5)
As part of its ETSIP, the Namibian MoE has outlined the following strategic objectives:
The Higher Education Act, establishing the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Provides mechanisms for making tertiary institutions more directly responsive to national needs.
The Teacher’s Education Colleges Act allows colleges a greater degree of professional and managerial autonomy
The Research, Science, and Technology Act provides mechanisms for stimulating and supporting research activities in all institutions and also for linking research to development (4)
Administration and finance
A single ministry of education was created at independence by unifying the previous racial and ethnically based education authorities. The single ministry of basic education has its head quarters in Windhoek. The Permanent Secretary is the administrative head of the ministry assisted by a deputy Permanent Secretary and two Under Secretaries. In 1995 the Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training Science and Technology (MHEVTST) was created thus making a clear separation between basic, and higher education. The administration of the Ministry of Basic Education, Sport and Culture (MBESC) is carried out through the department of Formal Education programmes and the department of Culture and Lifelong Learning, which are headed by the two Under Secretaries.
The whole country was originally divided into 7 educational regions which at the end of 2002 were sub divided into 13 regions headed by Regional Directors of Education, in compliance with the central government policy of decentralising central government functions to the 13 political/administrative regions. While the Ministry is overall responsible for the running of the education system, it is the regional education offices that shoulder the bulk of the implementation of educational programmes on a day to day basis by working closely with schools and communities in their respective regions. The decentralisation of the Ministry's administrative structures was in compliance with the central government policy to devolve some functions of line Ministries to the 13 national administrative regions. (1)
The Advisory Council on Teacher Education and Training (ACTET) advises the MoE on policies, directions and standards for teacher education (4)
Public Expenditure on Education as a % of Gross National Income (GNI) = 7.9% (4)
In 1995, the Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science and Technology was created, making a clear administrative separation between basic and higher education. (3)
National Council for Higher Education
The objectives for the council are to advise the Minister of Education on policies both on the Minister’s demand and on its own accord in questions regarding:
Advisory Council on Teacher Education and Training (ACTET) advises on the governance and funding of colleges of education. (4)
% Education budget allocated to higher education = 15% (2005/6) There is loan/grant scheme in place (4)
Grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate introduced in 1993. International General Certificate of Secondary Education and the Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations adopted in 1994 in partnership with the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Certificate. National Inspectorate established in 2005 to evaluate the performance of schools and carry out quality assurance functions. (3)
National Council for Higher Education advises the Minister of Education on policies both on the Minister’s demand and on its own accord in questions regarding quality assurance in Higher Education. (4)
The national online distance learning policy directs NOLNet (Namibian Open Learning Network Trust) and individual providers to work with the NCHE in the development of appropriate quality assurance mechanisms for tertiary level higher education by ODL means. These mechanisms should be extended through NOLNet to cover non-tertiary level ODL provision as well. Consumer protection against disreputable ODL providers is also addressed and specific strategies are outlined in the policy, i.e. formal regulation of the activities of ODL providers through relevant Quality Assurance bodies and the provision of advice to would-be learners on the standing of overseas providers offering study programmes to learners in Namibia. (2)
According to the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, Namibia ranks 78th out of 115 economies using the networked readiness index (NRI) which measures the degree of preparation of a nation to participate in and benefit from ICT developments.6 Namibia’s rank is ahead of Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
Namibia’s close economic and historical links to South Africa means that its telecom market is one of the most developed on the continent. Its modern, fully digital telecom network has helped to drive growth in the Internet and mobile telephony sectors. While mobile and fixed-line services are still a monopoly, plans are underway to introduce competition in both sub-sectors. The Internet sector is open to competition, although the telecoms industry in general ranks comparatively low in terms of openness of the telecommunications market. The Telecommunications Policy and Regulatory Framework (1999) describes a vision of universal access and liberalisation of the telecommunications sector. The draft Telecommunications Bill provides for the regulation of telecommunication activities including the use and allocation of radio spectrum and the establishment of an independent Namibian Communications Authority. The Bill’s aim of universal access is pivotal to Namibia’s vision, and a universal service fund (USF) will be established and administered by the regulator. The existing telecommunications regulatory framework provides for a universal service obligation (USO) by the monopolies. The liberalisation of the telecommunications sector will introduce competition as a means of accelerating infrastructure development, increasing efficiency, and diversifying services, thereby making government’s decentralisation efforts cheaper and increasing Namibia’s attractiveness for foreign investment. (5)
ICT in education initiatives
Virtual initiatives in schools
Virtual initiatives in post-secondary and further education
of Education to coordinate their activities through the establishment of a national trust, known as the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet). Since its establishment in July 2001, NOLNet has been striving to enhance opportunities for supported, independent learning for adults and young people through a framework of collaborative management of open learning centres in terms of a legal agreement between publicly-funded ODL institutions. NOLNet’s activities include institutional capacity-building; establishment and expansion of a national network of open learning centres; supporting elearning initiatives to supplement existing ODL print-based programmes; and the development of radio programmes and audio-visual material. (2) (P.1)
1. Southern and Eastern African consortium for monitoring educational quality http://www.sacmeq.org/education-namibia.htm
2. National ODL Policy for Namibia http://wikieducator.org/images/c/c4/PID_350.pdf
3. National report on the development of eduaction in Namibia http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/ICE47/English/Natreps/reports/namibia_fin.pdf
5. InfoDev report April 2007 http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.420.html