By Johannes Hangula
MULTICHOICE Namibia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) for the implementation of the MultiChoice Resource Centres (MRCs) in Namibia.
MultiChoice Namibia general manager Roger Gertze, who spoke at the signing ceremony in Windhoek on Thursday last week commented that, “In line with our purpose, we recognise education as a key priority in Namibia, and as such, it is also the main focus of our corporate social responsibility strategy. MultiChoice Namibia’s investment is primarily activated through our flagship MultiChoice Resource Centre (MRC) initiative which leverages our powerful digital satellite platform to make a difference to the lives of students and teachers across the continent”.
Through the MRCs, the extensive reach and capabilities of the DStv digital satellite technology platform is leveraged to bring high quality, up-to-date learning materials into schools across Africa, in even the remotest of communities. The programme benefits teachers and pupils, regardless of geographical or logistical constraints.
A key strength of the programme is that it is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education to harness the strength of each partner towards the overall objective of enriching the lives of Namibian learners.
After almost a decade, the MRC programme has established a proud track record of over 1 900 centres rolled out to schools and educational institutions across 29 African countries. The company said the scope of this programme attests to MultiChoice’s commitment to developing Africa’s human capital.
In Namibia, MultiChoice enabled rural communities to watch NBC and other TV channels for the first time in their lives through the MRC programme. Over 300 Namibian schools have benefitted from this programme since its inception in 2004. MultiChoice Namibia’s key focus for the next three years is to upgrade the existing MultiChoice Resource Centres across the country. Last year, regional upgrades for MultiChoice Resource Centres completed in this financial year in Erongo, Hardap, Kavango, Omusati and Omaheke regions (approximately 50 schools).
As part of the upgrades, each MRC is provided with a television, mounting bracket, Personal Video Recorder (PVR) decoder and satellite dish. The schools are then given access the DStv Education Bouquet, which offers teachers’ new teaching material and the resources to record it on the PVR. The material can then be accessed and used to enrich all facets of teaching and to expose students to content and concepts previously unavailable. The DStv educational bouquet offers world-class content through the following channels: Business Day TV, BBC world news, Mind-set, Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Knowledge, Animal Planet, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic and Discovery channel. Teachers at all MRCs receive training and orientation, not only on the use of the equipment and basic technical troubleshooting, but also on how to effectively integrate the valuable resources.
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