The Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. David Namwandi launched the Open Educational Resources (OER) aimed at broadening access to learning opportunities through the access of self-study materials in print and digital format to students at the Namibia College for Open Learning (NAMCOL).
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are freely accessible. Anyone is free to reuse, modify and share these materials. Open educational resources include study materials, modules, textbooks, audio and video materials used to support access to knowledge. OER are released under the Creative Commons License arrangements.
The OER’s were developed by NAMCOL and the Ministry of Education through the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), but were initiated by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) through funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) and the Ministry of Education participated in this project by developing OER in five JSC subjects. Materials developed are in print and online formats supplemented by multimedia resources. The online content was developed through the Moodle Learning Management System. Materials in JSC Geography will be made available in November 2012.
A dedicated team of 25 members worked on the development of OER for the five subjects. Each team consisted of a NAMCOL Programme Developer, Education Officer from NIED and three subject teachers from secondary schools. The teams worked and shared their work on a platform called base camp, which facilitated continuous communication among the team members.
Speaking at the launch held at the NAMCOL head office, Dr. Namwandi said the Open Educational Resources are important in any society as they provide a platform for expanding access to learning opportunities. He said the need for the development of Open Educational Resources was partly identified at the National Educational Conference held last year, adding that the conference resolutions provide a clear strategic road map for the realization of educational excellence for the country.
The materials that form part of the OER’s were developed in five Grade 10 subjects, namely: English, Entrepreneurship, Geography, Life Science and Physical Science. They are in print and digital formats supplemented by multimedia resources.
Dr. Namwandi further said that this initiative will enhance teaching and learning at all schools and NAMCOL tutorial centres and therefore encouraged all teachers to utilize the materials to enhance the cascading of knowledge for the benefit of the Namibian population.
Dr Namwandi noted that the online OERs further support the ministry’s efforts to build the capacity of teachers by making resources available in digital formats. He added that this will equally enhance the Ministry of Education to facilitate the availability of internet access to schools countrywide to benefit the Namibian learners.
The Deputy Minister was also of the opinion that these online resources will add value to the existing resources and promote interactive learning urging teachers to join their counterpart from all around the globe by taking up the challenge to develop their skills and knowledge in ICT which will improve your classroom teaching and learning process and intimately lead to better results during national examinations.
He commended COL and NAMCOL for the job well done emphasizing that this kind of smart partnership enables Namibia to keep abreast with the ever changing educational demands and development.
Dr Namwandi further urged other stake holders in the education sector particularly library services to make the content available to the learners through the network of libraries in the country.
These materials are available on the NAMCOL (www.namcol.edu.na) and Commonwealth of Learning (www.col.org/OpenSchooling) websites. Plans are also underway to get the OER at all public libraries and NOLNet centres.Other News Articles