Namibia: Namcol Launches E-Learning Portal
The Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) has launched Notesmaster Namibia, a freely accessible e-learning platform, designed specially to facilitate the development of a global education network for secondary learners.
Notesmaster enables learners and educators from different countries to learn and share material, using familiar syllabus frameworks that reflect their own curriculum.
According to NAMCOL's director, Heroldt Murangi, the institution recognises ICT as an important tool to enhance access, strengthen operation systems, and improve delivery systems. NAMCOL's overall strategy in ICT is incremental since the college acknowledged the limitation and challenges inherent in the use of multimedia resources in the Namibian context.
"To circumvent some of the challenges, such as low bandwidth and internet connectivity we have established 11 computer centres in Gobabis, Windhoek, Ongwediva, Keetmanshoop, Otjiwarongo, Rundu, Katima Mulili, Eehana, Ondangwa and Outapi," he said.
Notesmaster was designed in 2011 as a learning portal for the Caribbean education sector in partnership with the Caribbean Examination Council to provide a tailored e-learning platform for over 600,000 teachers and students.
"In October 2011, the commonwealth of Learning saw the potential of the platform and that it can be used as an online mechanism to distribute content for open schools in Africa. In further discussions with NAMCOL, it became evident that it is directly in line with NAMCOL's Multimedia strategy and Nambia's vision 2030," said Murangi.
He said the guiding principle behind Notesmaster is to facilitate the online creation and presentation of useful and exciting learning material in a structured environment.
"Notesmaster Namibia is here at no cost to NAMCOL and Namibia. Secondly, the service to be offered is also 100% free of charge to students and teachers. There are no financial demands on member states as the portal is sustained by advertising." he added.
Only students registered at NAMCOL will have access to the resources and material offered by Notesmaster Namibia.
"This year, we are piloting the platform using NAMCOL learners, as from 2014 we want to open it up for all secondary school learners in the country. What we expect from the stakeholders in the education sector is educational context," said Murangi.