WINDHOEK: Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) Director Haroldt Murangi says the poor public perception of Open Distance Learning (ODL) should be done away with.
Murangi made the statement during a NAMCOL gala dinner held in the capital last Thursday, which was organised for the regional leadership of the Khomas Region drawn from various stakeholders.
The dinner was aimed at engaging stakeholders and at the same time, enlightening them on all NAMCOL developments.
The NAMCOL director is also not happy with the comparison drawn between the college and conventional schools.
“NAMCOL results are always compared with that of conventional schools and that, for me, is not a fair comparison,” he said.
Murangi said the socio-economic conditions of the learners at the different institutions differ. Here he made an example of how some NAMCOL learners attend classes up until 21h00 and then have to walk from the NAMCOL premises in Katutura to places like Havana after class.
Some even have to see to their own accommodation as they don’t have parents, Murangi stressed.
“I think we also forget as a nation that we (NAMCOL) change the social behaviour of these learners. Instead of them hanging around at cuca-shops and doing all the unnecessary things, they are busy with their studies,” he said.
He stated that the perception that people have that education is just about results should also be done away with as education also exists to “transform” a nation.
Murangi said the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level (NSSCO) examinations of 2010 showed that formal school learners performed 20 per cent better in scoring grades from A+ to C.
For grades D to G, the learners in formal schools and NAMCOL learners are almost on par, said Murangi, before adding that both sets of learners struggle in this area.
Key challenges faced by NAMCOL as indicated by the institution’s director include the learners’ socio-economic conditions; the poor public perception of ODL; a lack of parental support for learners; learner attendance and NAMCOL’s dependence on formal education teachers.