DOT-COM Activity: Namibia - Initiative for Namibian Education Technology (iNET)
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Short Description: The Initiative for Namibian Education Technology (iNET) supports the Ministry of Basic Education, Sport and Culture (MBESC) in the establishment of physical, online, and human resources within the Ministry, as well as policy development in relation to ICT, education, and training.
Phase/Type of Activity: Signed Award Status: Completed
Start date: February 01, 2003 End Date: July 31, 2005
Person(s) to contact
Margie Joyce , Instructional Designer
dot-EDU/AED Technology Center , Academy for Educational Development
Full Description: The Initiative for Namibian Education Technology (iNET) follows on from USAID/Namibias previous information and communication technologies (ICT) support to the Ministry of Basic Education, Sport and Culture (MBESC) in the establishment of physical, online, and human resources within the Ministry, as well as policy development in relation to ICT, education, and training.
Update 1 (As of June 2004): iNET has undertaken training activities with all key target groups including college faculty, education planners, and teacher resource center staff. The project also continues to make progress toward providing more technology to target centers, and is making significant headway on assisting the Ministries of Education and other stakeholders in developing a new national ICT and education strategy and strategy implementation plan. The project continues to encounter obstacles in the form of a weak dollar, significant delays in the Ministrys rollout of equipment to the colleges of education, and Ministry difficulties in filling counterpart posts for the project,particularly for the EMIS-support activities.
Update 2 (July-Sept. 2004):
The iNET project has ramped up its activities related to the online course with Harvard Graduate School of Education. Fifteen additional participants have begun taking the course "Teaching to Standards with New Technology". In addition, three Ministry colleagues have begun serving as "coaches in training", which will eventually allow them to be coaaches on future Harvard courses. The project has also moved forward with a relationship with a second university, this time Wayne Patterson University in New Jersey. This relationship has student teachers in New Jersey and Namibia (3 students) taking an online course together. The Wayne Patterson professor and the iNET Chief of Party have also recently co-written and published an article on technology and education in Namibia. In further news, connectivity has now been established at all four colleges of education during this quarter, and the project's work to support the development of a technology in education policy for Namibia has been concluded with the draft policy being delivered to both Ministers of education for consideration by cabinet.
Update 3 (January - March 05):
The Technology Across the Curriculum course was completed by 4 student teachers. 100% pass rate was achieved. The Teaching to Standards with New Technology (Harvard) was completed by 15 Namibian participants and 3 NIED apprentice coaches. The ICT Policy for Education was finalized.
Snapshot of Results
1. Improved standards of professional development for MBESC Officials
- iNET supported four teacher resource centers (TRCs) to enhance and expand TRC services for increased usage and sustainability. All four centers reported increased usage and two reported increased income.
- iNET and National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) worked together to expand the Namibian educaitonal content available via www.edsnet.na. Today, the site hosts nearly all syllabi, curricula and teachers' guides as well as lesson plans, HIV/AIDS information, readers and a wealth of other information relevant to teachers. EDSNET was selected for an award in the eContent category for Africa at the World Summit on the Information Society Awards.
- iNET assisted NIED to install a student computer lab at all four Colleges of Education. All labs have full-time Internet connectivity. The student labs are utilized at full capacity.
- iNET worked with NIED to continue the Harvard online course, WIDE World. Over 80 NIED staff and college lecturers completed the course with an average pass rate over 80%. At the end of the project, nearly 60% of College lecturers who participated in iNET activities reported integrating ICTs into their lessons and over 80% reported using ICTs to research and/or plan their lessons.
2. ICT Policy for Education Officially Adopted
- iNET worked closely with the NIED to actively engage key stakeholders across the ICTs in education sector and to move the process forward over a two- year period. The result is an official policy that outlines developmental targets for all education institutions, representing a clear guide for the ICTs in education sector.
3. Improve Policy and Planning Through Decentralization of EMIS
- iNET developed professional development support to the Ministry's Regional Education Planners and Inspectors of Education. Each planner received a laptop and training to be able to use spreadsheet programs for data collection, analysis and reporting. Each regional office was also networked to share printing and connectivity throughout the offices.
- Once the regional education planners were equipped, connected and trained, they were ready to use the EMIS web-interface. Through the web interface, the regional education planners are now able to access up-to-date EMIS data in different formats. The data is now available at http://emis.edsnet.na.
Development Sector(s): Basic Education, Education Partnerships, Higher Education, Participant Training
ICT Intervention(s): LAN/network infrastructure
Links and Files:
- Online Teacher Professional Development: Exploring Lessons from Namibia and Uganda
Do educators who learn online feel part of a community? Is online teacher professional development intellectually rigorous, relevant and cost-effective? What are the implications of engaging in sustained professional development without leaving the school environment? What interventions are necessary to support educators who are learning online in a developing country environment? How can capacity be built among African educators to design and facilitate online learning courses?
These questions are addressed throughout the four sections of this report through analyzing the participation of over 100 in-service Ugandan and Namibian teacher educators who, as a result of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding, were able to participate in online professional development through a program for educators based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education called WIDE World.2 The WIDE World programs approach emphasizes helping participants learn how to apply research-based strategies in their own teaching. It uses networked technology to provide tailored feedback and support from coaches who promote collaboration and interaction among participants.
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