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Students weigh in on e-learning

2020-04-15  Paheja Siririka

Students weigh in on e-learning
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Namibian students locally and abroad received directives from the government to try their level best to be on par with the latest trend of continuing their classes
online amidst the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, depending on the technological resources available.
Youth Corner spoke to some of them to find out how they have personally been coping with e-learning amidst the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the advice they would give to fellow students as far as the 2020 academic year is concerned.

Rauha Ndeumona Shekupakela (25) 
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia.
MBA in Project Management. 
Presently, there are still no solutions implemented for postgraduate students in terms of e-learning, and this is very troubling, especially because we are foreigners here; we have so many expenditures and we have no idea when this crisis will end. On the other hand, I am very optimistic that the university will extend e-learning to postgraduates as they did with undergraduate students. As much as we expect our government to establish solutions and provide answers, we should take it upon ourselves to brainstorm on sustainable and innovative ideas that can aid the situation we are currently facing. Try your best to ensure that those ideas
are heard. Communicate with your lecturers and faculty.

Chantelle Reneé 
Katjiukua (25)
Noida International University, India
Masters of Public Health.
Our institution introduced online classes since the beginning of the lockdown, for us to complete the syllabus, whilst at home. I have access to data, Wi-Fi and attend e-learning classes in the comfort of my home since we not allowed to go outside. And online classes have been effective. So, in terms of e-learning, I have been coping well although, we can’t write tests and all, we submit numerous assignments.
To fellow students, those who don’t have access to the Internet, continue educating yourselves, don’t sit at home laid back, read books about your course and just be a step ahead so that when all this cools down you are at least a step ahead and have educated yourselves. 

Johannes T Kambala (23)
University of Namibia
Bachelors of Education (Honours).
The whole online system is not working. The institution said they are going to put measures in place especially for those students that are negatively affected but I don’t think that is ever going to be done. I also feel these online classes should be withheld while all measures are put in place. Some of us are lucky we are in town, have laptops and can easily access data but to think of those students who are in remote areas and some older lecturers who might  be struggling with the online teaching methods right now, it is not a good idea.

Dr Naemi Pomwene-pawa Bickmeier (26)
Kansas State University, USA.
PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant.
Before switching to remote learning, I was struggling to reach my target performance for one of the classes and it got increasingly harder after switching to online learning. Watching pre-recorded lectures without the discussion component made learning particularly hard.  Working from the comforts of my home also made it easier for me to put off watching lectures for later and they started piling up. I would, however, like to state that I am fortunate: I own a personal computer and have access to WIFI 24/7. There are students in my community who aren’t as lucky: some do not own computers; others have no access to WI-FI and some lack both. 
E-learning suites some well, disadvantages others and some may not even feel affected. Regardless of how individual students are affected, the reality is that formal education remains a major route to a better future for most of us. My advice is to remain prayerful, to stand up and speak out (through appropriate channels) whenever suggested solutions disadvantage you, but at the same time to work together (in some capacity) with the appropriate authorities in finding most beneficial solutions for your situation.

2020-04-15  Paheja Siririka

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