Namcol director Heroldt Murangi has urged all Namcol learners who are about to write their final examinations to study hard despite the deadly pandemic of Covid-19.
“This is an unprecedented year which affected the lives of many people, in particular our learners. We should continuously remind ourselves that Namcol was established as an open, distance e-Learning (ODeL) institution using a variety of methodologies to enable multiple forms of interaction. This methodology enables us to bridge or narrow the gap between tutors and learners. This form of education delivery allows the learners to study anytime, anywhere and at own convenient space,” he said.
Murangi further stated that the Namcol environment is open to learning and students should not be discouraged because of the Covid-19 pandemic, or what they refer to as “the new normal”. “We acknowledge that the ‘in-person’ contact with tutors was affected because of restrictions with travelling and gatherings, but I urge our learners to continue studying because our mode of delivery promotes self-directed, self-determined and independent learning. Eighty percent of your time should be for self-study and the remaining 20% should be for engaging tutors and fellow learners for in-person contact or by using technologies such as the social media applications like WhatsApp for support.”
Murangi further acknowledged that learners and students at all levels of education across the country are emotionally affected by the pandemic, but he encouraged them to continue with the journey of learning and not to lose hope despite all odds. According to him, the African child is tough and can be compared to a traditional chicken which survives under difficult circumstances. The same can be said for Namcol learners, they remain resilient and for many years have been excelling despite their socio-economic conditions. In his view, these tough situations are not new to them.
“My dear learners, despite all these challenges, study hard as the final examination is fast approaching. From our side, we will put the necessary support to help our students as they execute that mammoth task,” he emphasised. According to Murangi, the college has produced additional learning resources for the secondary education programmes that are loaded on the Notesmaster platform, while the notes for TVET and tertiary programmes are accessible on the Moodle open resources platform.
“The onus is upon students to access the relevant materials on these platforms,” he urged. Grade 12 learners are also encouraged to access the website of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for old question papers and model answers.
Murangi added that the college is currently busy with the ministry of education`s e-Learning project of developing online content for grades 8-11 on the Notesmaster for use by all learners and teachers across the country. “We are also producing educational radio and video programmes in order to benefit the entire country,” he stated. In addition, he said that the college has been and is ready to continue teaching amidst the pandemic
“Life goes on, education goes on. We are in a better position compared to other institutions due to the fact that we are an open and distance educational institution.”
On the other hand, Murangi said Covid-19 has given the college an opportunity to think and start doing things differently, which includes enhancing the use of e-Learning and fostering relations between educational institutions and the stakeholders.
“There is no need to panic. The pandemic is amongst us and we have to live with it. Let us try to do the basics which are to keep safe, sanitise, wash hands and wear masks, keep social distancing, and avoid unnecessary gatherings,” he urged.