By Ndalimpinga Iita
An online education forum is harnessing the use of technology among educators in Namibia to bridge gaps perpetuated by COVID-19 restrictions.
Kopano Online Education Forum, developed through the UNESCO-China Funds-in-Trust project, is an inter-institutional platform aimed to address education quality gaps in Africa.
Loide Kapenda, an education officer in Namibia, accessed virtual resources on Kopano Online Education Forum. Kapenda, who works in the public service, said that Kopano has been instrumental in enhancing her knowledge and learning amid COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am not only able to access rich resources but also to exchange best practices with fellow educators. It is a hub that sparks innovation and fosters new ideas for lifelong learning,” she said Thursday.
According to Kapenda, the platform had helped many educators cope with the demand of online education provision amid the call for the education fraternity to maximize virtual platforms.
“The forum came in handy, and it continues to enable us to achieve more by learning better through discussions and other virtual engagements,” she added.
Launched in March 2019, the forum, hosted by Center for Professional Development, Teaching and Learning Improvement at the University of Namibia, has grown over time.
Absalom Absalom, with public relations office in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, said that so far some 13,000 educators in Namibia are registered on the virtual platform, a significant increase from the initial number at its launch in March 2019.
The official said that benefits had been derived from the platform.
“One of the many benefits is skills diversification. Not only is that, but educators on the platform also register in their areas of specialization or interest to communicate their ideas around their topic of interest, content or subject,” he said.
The use of Kopano would also aid the realization of Namibia’s vision of attaining a knowledgeable community of educators as set out in the national development agenda, according to Kapenda.
The forum is being implemented in 10 African countries, including Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Namibia, Togo and Zambia.