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      'You cannot teach what you do not understand'

      by Absalom Shigwedha

      Peya Mushelenga

      MINISTER of information and communication technology Peya Mushelenga says there is a need for tailor-made in-service training programmes for teachers on information technology, which should be part of the curriculum for teacher training.

      “You cannot teach the pupils something you do not understand yourself. ICT should also be placed on the teachers' education programme, as well as primary and secondary education [curricula],” he said.

      Mushelenga made these remarks yesterday at the four-day national conference on education, which started in Windhoek on Tuesday.

      The minister said information technology is the future for Namibia's education, and the government would implement its use from primary to tertiary education.

      He said information and communication technology (ICT) should not only be promoted in the education sector, but also in all the various sectors of the country.

      In January this year, education minister Anna Nghipondoka revealed that only 13 000 pupils had accessed the ministry's e-learning platforms during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

      This is less than 2% of the total population of 804 000 pupils in Namibia's state and private schools. Despite efforts to bridge this gap to catch up with global trends, the ministry's executive director, Sanet Steenkamp, acknowledged there is still a long road to attain inclusive digital learning.

      However, this would soon change as the ministry plans to gradually implement the system.

      Mushelenga said teachers cannot be expected to teach pupils digital technology if they are not capacitated to use digital devices.

      Mushelenga said there is a need for a tailor-made in-service training programme for teachers on information technology and this should be part of the teaching curriculum.

      The acting director for the Teaching and Learning Unit at the Namibia University for Science and Technology, who spoke on transforming education in Namibia through responsive and inclusive digital learning, said access to digital learning is the way to go, as it makes teaching easier for both pupils and teachers.

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