Windhoek — Namutoni Primary School in Windhoek's Katutura-East Constituency has entered a new phase in its existence as one of the leading institutions embracing and using Information Communication Technology (ICT) for teaching and learning activities.
ICT devices such as tablets, computer-guided instruction and interactive systems are used as teaching and learning avenues to ensure access and usage of ICT at the school. This is in line with the Ministry of Education's policy on the development of knowledge and nurturing of individual creativity, innovation and leadership skills.
Contacted for comment, principal of Namutoni Primary School Johanna Asino said the school acknowledges the value that access and usage of ICT provides to learners. She added that the ICT focussed education is going strong as the school bought 29 electronic tablets, while a company called Genius Educational Software donated another 15 tablets.
"The school now has a total of 44 tablets designated for the ICT-educational program, and this is used for teaching and learning from the pre-primary to Grade Seven for ICT-skills training among our teachers and leaners for promotion of technology literacy in the school," Asino explained.
She also emphasised that the 15 computers in the ICT-laboratory are fully functional and are connected to the internet for the use of the teachers and leaners for studying purposes.
Asino also revealed that the school conducted a design thinking workshop in 2017 after which the ICT based learning was introduced. This was complimented by the installation of a digital library to access different books online as well as data server with wireless router that allows teachers and leaners access the world wide web for effective educational purposes.
"In keeping with the commitment of ICT-based learning, the school introduced electronic-learning for the introduction of an educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom.
"There were few monitors purchased while waiting for donations in order for the ICT-laboratory to have at least 40 computers. This will allow for the use of more computers and tablets during teaching and learning in the laboratory," the principal stressed.
On the reasons for the introduction of ICT-education at the school, the principal said, is to unblock the potential of the learners, improve the quality of education for better learning tools and teaching aids, and learners study through visualising a story which helps them to better understand learning content.
More weight was given to this scenario when the principal highlighted that ICT-education in the school has assisted learners to attain knowledge better for more informed decisions in addition to the lessons being taught faster and learners finding the subjects more interesting.
The principal continued that the development of ICT-education allow teachers and learners to actively engage for practical purposes, improve reading skills and widen their vocabulary.
With regard to the further expansion plans, the principal is optimistic that the school will strive to complete integration of computer technology and will provide ICT-trained qualified teachers to train others and provide material for all teachers to make ICT an integral part of their lessons.
Meanwhile, the principal simple response to the challenges of ICT-development is that the school still needs computers, printers, wireless hotspots, projectors, laptops and projector screens or white boards.
"The school still requires parental involvement to assist learners to acquire tablets for electronic-learning.
"The issue of one ICT lesson per week is not enough. The school needs qualified ICT teachers for training at all levels and also needs to find a solution to sharing of computers or tablets by the numerous learners or teachers," the principal concluded.