A teacher by profession, now a software developer, Hafeni Immanuel (31) has suggested that education policies should be amended to include more practical work in schools compared to theory as learners tend to grasp schoolwork more efficiently based on practical tasks given to them.
"Having taught students Science, Math, English and recently IT in some cases, there aren't computers in the labs and if you are teaching them how to type, how are you going to show them that? wondered Immanuel.
Apart from seeing more practical work, Immanuel feels the government needs to provide resources to schools as early as possible because they are not aware of what will occur in the future, and ICT should get more in terms of investment from the coffers.
Immanuel is doing his part in assisting the government halfway as he has developed a mobile application, dubbed E-learning Namibia, to give extra classes to learners through electronic media. "The application currently accommodates learners from grade zero to seven to enable them to learn from home at any time and in any way. Grade eight to 12's content will be included soon," said Immanuel.
Established in 2019, the application has more than 1 000 users, mostly learners. "More than 1 000 learners have been registered by their parents since the development of the application but there is no data for the teachers who have registered yet. The app has gained a lot of downloads on Play Store and it is tailored to Namibian learners to keep them busy while they are at home. For now, the teachers may also register and interact with each other on the app and get materials for free," he said.
He said the application is structured in such a way that the user can only use the content they have registered for. "If you have registered for grade three for example, you will only be having access to that grade's content because the password you will be given will only grant you access to that platform. Subscribing is for free but registering has a fee for the effort we put in, which is affordable to some and you can have access to all the content of that particular grade for two months," stated Immanuel.
E-learning Namibia only has Natural Science, Mathematics and English. "We have received calls from parents who worry about their children performing poor in certain subjects, hence we are planning on adding other subjects like Agriculture, Business and many others," he assured.
Immanuel guaranteed the credibility of the application as he uses a scheme of work. "There is an efficient plan that defines work to be done in the classroom but this time around on the application which involves defining a scheme of work. I know the syllabuses and I am very well updated when it comes to the Namibian curriculum, especially for lower and upper primary levels," said the confident educator who studied Mathematics secondary level and science upper primary at Unam and then software engineering at Polytechnic of Namibia now known as Nust.
E-learning Namibia is a solo project by Immanuel but he has roped in young IT specialists to assist with marketing. "When a parent registers, we get a notification on phones and that also needs to be put on the database."
Seeing on the database, the app, seen by Youth Corner with information from users indicate that more applicants are from the Khomas, Hardap, Erongo and very few from the northern regions.