The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Frances Mensah

Good Governance, Social justice and Democracy. Can ODL make a difference?

Frances Mensah

True democracy is not possible with an uneducated people, uneducated with regard to their roles, rights and responsibilities. Democracy also means that people should be involved in government processes .The question is; can I be involved if I do not have an appreciation of my role and responsibility? Can I make a meaningful contribution to good governance and social justice if I cannot identify with these words? Many governments, including Namibia's, have decentralised its functions in an effort to strengthen democracy. Unfortunately the majority of the people, in whose hands the additional responsibility land, are not always equipped with skills and knowledge to manage government's affairs at a regional and local level. The Namibian College of Open Learning has identified this weakness and introduced a programme to provide support for the decentralisation and democratisation process in Namibia. This presentation will illustrate that ODL is the only viable option to ensure good governance, democracy and social justice.

Description of the programme offered by the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL): The Certificate in Local Government Studies is a one year programme offered through Distance Education with intervals of Contact Sessions with the tutors. The programme aims to provide support for the decentralisation process in Namibia. It also aims to support capacity building initiatives of regional councils and local authorities. The programme consists of 7 modules. English for general communication was specifically elected due to the fact that the official language is English, but for the majority of the population this is a second or third language. The other modules are; Regional and Local Government in Namibia, Local Democracy and Good Governance, Basics of Local Government Economics, Local Public Finance and Accounting, Regional and Local Government Administration and Introduction to Community Development.

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