The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Haaveshe Nekongo-Nielsen

The contributions of open and distance learning to national development in Namibia

Haaveshe Nekongo-Nielsen
Centre for External Studies

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     Last modified: September 16, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/03/2006 10:00 AM in NT Portland A
     (View Schedule)

Education in general continue to be a crucial means to national development and a well educated and trained population is found to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of any country (Marope, 2005). In addition, open and distance learning methods and programmes are known to make valuable contributions to the socio-economic development of countries that offer such programmes. Man countries have therefore recognized that open and distance learning is a powerful tool for achieving the country’s educational and training needs and a potent instrument in creating a learning society capable of bringing about scientific, technological, social and economic development.

Since achieving independence in 1990 Namibian educational institutions have been offering programmes utilizing open and distance learning methods. By offering open and distance learning programmes educational institutions have recognized the critical role that open and distance learning can play in national development. Thus, open and distance learning programmes in Namibia are located within the developmental context of the country and have been designed and developed to address the developmental needs of the country.

During the panel discussion I will provide an account of the country’s achievements in supporting open and distance learning, the huge contributions that ODL has made in meeting the educational and training challenges of the country and the potential of ODL to realizing Vision 2030. This will be done as follows:
1. The contributions that open and distance learning has made to Namibia’s socio-economic development since independence in 1990 will be highlighted.

2. Tangible contributions would be presented in terms of the number of graduates that the four publicly funded ODL institutions have produced and injected into society over the past 15 years.

3. Specific cases of individual graduates who have made inroads and assisted the country to realize its developmental goals would be provided.

4. I will also highlight how collaboration and sharing of resources within and between Namibian ODL institutions has contributed to the development of quality and cost-effective ODL programmes and support systems.

5. Finally I will highlight how open and distance learning has already started making a contribution to realizing Namibia’s Vision 2030 – a national development strategy which has set Namibia to the road of developing a knowledge based economy and becoming a developed nation by year 2030.

Marope, Mmantsetsa Toka (2005). Namibia human capital and knowledge development for economic growth with equity. Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series – No. 84. The World Bank.

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