• September 26th, 2020

e-Learning a distant reality for rural learners

OHAIYANDA - I have never heard of e-learning and what it entails, these were the words of a grade 6 learner at Mungandjera Combined School who New Era came across playing outside a house and driving a wire toy car at Ohaiyanda village in Oshikoto.
“I miss school and I’m equally tired of being home doing house chores as well as playing house. I feel left out in attaining quality education and I feel with this time wasted, it might affect my performance,” stated 14-year-old Angula Amukoto.
Wearing a school uniform trouser folded on the left side, Amukoto, added he has no clue about what e-learning is or how to operate a smartphone or laptop.

Neither did any of his family who were around could clearly state they are well vested with the e-learning system, this is exacerbated by the fact none of them owns a smartphone.

This scenario complements the widespread public outcry that e-learning which was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic as a relief measure, will not be effective to rural schools, mainly without telecommunication equipment and network connectivity.
A fortnight ago, education executive director Sanet Steenkamp said about 32 percent of Namibian schools do not have telecommunication systems to support e-learning, of which majority are in rural areas.

It was stated that, WhatsApp platforms will be used to reach to learners, while for those without access, teachers were implored to be creative and prepare weekly worksheets, which will be picked up physically at distribution points. 
This is however, the opposite in Amukoto’s case who still remains in the dark. 

He stays with his grandmother, an uncle and two other school going girls who equally stated they are just idling at home waiting for the day when contact lessons will resume. 
“I am not in a position to assist in this e-learning as I only have a basic understanding, its too complicated. I therefore don’t think I can help in teaching the kids at home, because I know nothing. In fact, I have no smartphone even,” said Festus Uutoni, Amukoto’s uncle when queried. 

Obrien Simasiku
2020-04-30 10:25:39 | 4 months ago

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