PSN 2018 Edugate Netbal o/15 Span EduVision - amptelike opening 6 Augustus 2018 EduVision - amptelike opening 6 Augustus 2018 Edugate Netbal 1ste Span

You are here: EduVision


Executive Summary

“The teacher who is indeed wise, does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind”. (Khalil Gibran)

There is no doubt whatsoever that the teaching profession is one of the most secure professions that exist. There will always be learners and these learners will always need teachers. Fact is that there will be huge changes and challenges in the years to come, regarding teaching and learning methods.

The wide open spaces that make up the country of Namibia pose numerous educational challenges in some of the remote areas. A shortfall of a well-functioning infrastructure in these areas deprive many learners from effective teaching and learning. Also keep in mind that not all teachers are willing to teach in these remote areas.

Edugate Academy is one of the youngest private schools in the country but has ample proof that it is one of the leading academic institutions in Namibia. The school is proud of its reputation, but also believe that the existing structure and methods is not sustainable. This project aims to share our skills and experience, not only with our own learners but also with those from marginalised schools in the remote rural areas.

Edugate Academy in Otjiwarongo is part of the Otjozondjupa Region. After negotiations with various stakeholders, we are eager to assist another school in our region, Tsumkwe Secondary School. The school, situated in Tsumkwe, which, by road, is approximately a 1000km round trip from Otjiwarongo.

We at Edugate are of the opinion that with the aid of modern technology using an e-learning system, with the financial support from donor organisations, will not only transform the level of teaching but also provide those learners with new and unknown opportunities.

The trying economic times we find ourselves in makes this quest a challenge. Teaching, however, needs to be given priority. We sincerely believe that the very essence of teaching in Namibia – specifically in marginalised schools, can and should change. The scope of the project is nothing less, and economy of scale should ensure economically sustainability within the years to come.

1. Background

Edugate Academy is a private school situated in Otjiwarongo. The school’s academic achievements specifically in the higher level science subjects over the last decade speaks for itself, mainly because Edugate is blessed with some of the most competent teachers in Namibia.

School management came to realise, however, that the status quo is not morally or financially sustainable. Edugate therefore actively started to search for ways to share its knowledge and resources with less fortunate schools, especially in remote areas in Namibia. This quest resulted in, amongst others, a fact-finding mission to arguably the African leader in the field of e-learning, Ligbron Secondary School in Ermelo, South Africa. This tour affirmed our believe that IT can and should be used as an important tool in education.

Both the need for and the possibilities with regarding to this project was affirmed over and over again during our consultations with key role-players.

2. Edugate Business Plan (2017 – 2019) (Developed in collaboration with dr. Rudi Koekemoer of Visions Consulting)

Aim: To add to our core business, and to re-define the teaching/learning process both at Edugate and at the host schools.

3. Business Concept

Our purpose is to teach Mathematics , Physical Science, Accounting, Biology and English to remote marginalized schools through e-learning and modern technology with the assistance of well qualified, competent and experience teachers from an already well-established school administrative system (Edugate Academy). Financially this will adhere to strict company business principles. The “Extended classroom” model will be used to assist teaching especially in remote areas without replacing the responsibility of the class teacher.

4. Objectives

1. To uplift the pass rate of 1000 grade 12 learners over the next three years in specific identified remote schools with at least 25% in the mentioned subjects.

2. To increase the number of learners from Ordinary to Higher level with at least 5 % over the next three years in those identified schools.

5. Goals

·To assist in the teaching of Accounting, Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology and English to learners in remote schools. Subjects can easily be added on request once the equipment has been installed.

·To give continuous training to all those teachers involved.

·To be as cost effective as possible.

·To teach the mentioned subjects on higher level to those schools who do not have the necessary qualified teachers.

·To expose learners from Ordinary Level to Higher Level teaching.

·To establish reliable and effective internet and electricity supply systems.

·To find enough long-term and trustworthy sponsors.

·To operate strictly and transparent according to economic and educational principles.

·To adapt quickly on requests from remote schools who like to join the e-learning program.

·To have a trustworthy backup system and an excellent and effective support team in place.

6. Market Summary

There are currently high dropout rates in mathematics and physical science. Edugate Academy, with a sound record regarding the external results of the mentioned subjects, is eager to share its knowledge with those learners and teachers in remote areas.

This is a totally new concept in Namibia and will be the first of its kind in our country. Keeping the distance between the two schools in mind with all the technical challenges to connect a remote school where no optical fiber is available, it is also a first in Africa.

It is not an easy task to find competent teachers who are able and willing to teach subjects on Higher Level in remote areas. This concept will make it possible without any extra costs or new appointments. Once the equipment has been installed in a school and there is only one gifted learner who opt for Higher Level it will be possible to accommodate that specific learner.

Highly qualified and experienced teachers will be connected with students (and teachers) in remote and/or underperforming schools through interactive IT platforms like life video and audio sharing.

This will be done initially through commercially available software on the open market, but can be customized as time continuous.

7. Opportunities

To give learners in rural areas the same teaching opportunities as their counter parts in urban areas.

To assist Government in general and the Ministry of Education and Culture in particular during this economic challenging times by sharing knowledge and information without the obligation of higher costs.

This project may be valuable to businesses with the implementing of their PR-programs.

To expose learners in rural areas to some of the most competent teachers in the country.

To assist with teacher training, especially in mathematics and physical science.

A small administrative staff can get hundreds of learners on line.

Depending on the number of classes with e-learning equipment a single teacher can teach several hundreds of learners simultaneously.

An additional advantage can be found in the fact that the project will create state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities in the most rural areas. (Tsumkwe in phase one.) While the project will and should always be for teaching purposes there is no reason why the facilities cannot be utilize during conferences, workshops etc. between the rural area and any other role players for example the Government and private sector. Such an arrangement can also cut on travelling and accommodation costs.

8. Threats

There may be a lack of vision by some of the key role players because in Namibia the concept is new.

People in general resist change. This may also be the case with this project.

The average E-learning skills of the trainers, facilitators and the learners may not be up to standard for this new way of teaching.

The background, skills, attitude, learning methods and learning environment of learners in the target school is totally unknown.

Financial support to implement Phase 1 is a matter of concern. This is a totally new concept therefore donor companies may hesitate to become involved. They can even argue: “Just another project without any proof that it will work.”

Constant internet and electricity supply in rural areas will always be a big challenge.

There is little time left to implement Phase 1.

9. Competition

This type of e-learning will be the first of its kind in Namibia therefore there will be no mediate competition when it will be officially launched. We must assume that as soon as it become functional, other institutions will enter this market because e-learning is definitely something for the future.

10. The Team

The project shall initially be governed by the Control Body of Edugate Academy and a committee( Ex Officio) which will include at least the following fields of expertise:

·Education in Government (Ex officio)

·The financial sector

·The private sector (Leadership and business)

·The private sector (IT and communication)

The day to day running of the project in Phase 1 (Preparation Implementation and Evaluation) shall be done by Mr. Frikkie Louw and personnel of Edugate Academy on a pro bono basis under the supervision of the current Control Body of Edugate Academy.

11. Preparation, Implementation and Evaluation

Phase 1

This phase has been designed and carried out after negotiations with quite a number of relevant stakeholders. Phase 1 will mainly focused on finding the necessary financial support, (which will continue as long as the project will continue) the installation of equipment and basic training in the e-learning concept and constant evaluation. Evaluation will become more intensive as the program progresses. This phase must be completed at the end of the 2018 school year.

In brief, Phase 1 will include:

·Consultation with all relevant stakeholders to test the validity of the project.

·Identification of personnel and material needs.

12. Responsibilities of the e-learning Centre (Edugate)

Edugate must fulfil the following obligations:

·Teachers from the e-learning centre must be well qualified, must have at least 5 years teaching experience in Grade 11 and 12, with a sound record of his/her academic achievements with learners on a national level (currently Grades 10 and 12)

·The supply, installation and maintenance of all software, hardware, internet and other technical aspects will be the responsibility of Edugate.

·Each and every e-learning teacher must receive the necessary soft- and hardware training.

·Each school will be monitoring through the following processes:

¨Regular meetings with e-learning teachers.

¨Year to year results of those learners taking part in the e-learning programme.

¨Pre/post testing.

¨Log-in statistics will be done to monitor each transmission to see which school logged-in and if not, what the reasons are.

13. Conclusion

We at Edugate Academy had no doubt that e-learning will take the market by storm in the years to come. Please consider the following two remarks.

The cheapest smart phones are already available at N$150.00 in Africa. By 2020 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. This means that everyone has the same access to world class education.

The Khan Academy in Mountain View Florida, a non-profit educational institution reaches thousands of learners worldwide through YouTube. These videos are available at no costs because Khan receives all his money from donor organisations. The Khan Academy positions itself as a supplement to in-class teaching, a modern education tool which aims to humanize the classroom, using modern technology.

If this is the tendency outside the borders of Namibia, we have no other choice than to start utilizing modern technology to assist our Namibian learners in the teaching and learning processes. We cannot wait, time is running out!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)