The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Jerry Raymond Beukes

Using Radio in Innovative ways to support ODL Learners in Namibia: Opportunities, Challenges and Achievements

Jerry Raymond Beukes

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     Last modified: August 3, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 2:15 PM in NT Portland B
     (View Schedule)

This paper sets out to report on a project initiated by the Namibian Ministry of Education in 2004 to enhance education radio broadcasting in the country. The project is primarily aimed at developing local capacity to write, record and produce education radio programmes. This is a collaborative effort between publicly-funded ODL institutions and some Ministries involved in continuing education with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) as the external capacity building partner.

The rationale for the project stems for the realisation that most of the resource materials currently provided to ODL students are print-based. The contention is that radio, although widely regarded as a second generation technology, could still be used effectively to supplement printed texts in the Namibian context and in endeavours to address the many diverse challenges facing the education and training sector in the country. Chander and Sharma (2003) confirm, for example, that radio offers a number of advantages, including the following: it is a viable medium which has proven educational worth in terms of both pedagogical importance and geographical reach; high quality educational programming can be delivered to highly diversified audiences located across broad geographical areas at low unit production cost; radio programmes can benefit weaker students when used as supplementary tool; and it can bring previously unavailable resources to students.

It is against the background of the above that this paper highlights opportunities, challenges and achievements pertaining to the education radio project in Namibia. The paper speaks directly to the PCF4 sub-themes of innovation and collaboration.

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