Creating pathways to community economic development through open and distance learning: The University of Namibia Northern Campus approach.
Centre for External Studies
Last modified: October 15, 2006
Presentation date: 11/02/2006 10:00 AM in NT Ginger Lilly
Under normal circumstances community and economic development initiatives start with government or chambers of commerce setting goals for economic growth and taking steps to bring economic activities and projects to a particular community. However, the University of Namibia (UNAM) recognized that community economic development should be addressed through empowering community members who must participate in such economic activities.
During 2000 and 2001 UNAM, through its Northern Campus and in collaboration with Regional Councillors of north central Namibia, and two educational institutions in the USA, developed and implemented two educational programmes, namely the New Leaders Initiative Programme and the JobStart Programme. These programmes were developed to address issues of leadership development and eradication of unemployment among the youth of the region. The two programmes utilized open learning models to enable people who are far away from a University Campus, to learn and immediately apply what has been learned.
This paper will highlight the impact that the two programmes had made on the individual participants and their communities. It will provide information about the contributions the individual participants are currently making to the socio-economic development of their communities. The paper will further present useful learning outcomes as to what happens when a higher education institution tries to be involved in community development programmes of this sort.
The development and implementation of the New Leaders Initiative and JobStart programmes were made possible by a generous funding from The Ford Foundation.