WITH Namibia still lacking in terms of skills, primarily owing to lack of access to sufficient academic and learning material, government should also be cognisant of the fact that dishing out educational subsidies was not the actual solution to this challenge.
What is imperative to note is that technology is almost inseparable from our daily lives; it has changed the world and will continue to evolve.
However, the critical skills needed now and well into the future are not being developed and taught, leaving the youth with a challenging and questionable future.
While the two state universities (UNAM and NUST) are at capacity, with no new plans to build more facilities, it is more deplorable that Namibia is limiting itself to brick and mortar as the rest of the world enters the fourth industrial revolution.
In an era driven and dominated by technology, Namibia is not leveraging the potential of technology to address issues relating to capacity development.
Digital content solves not only an access issue but will also power new content that can future-proof Namibians, while enabling them to succeed.
The World Economic Forum reports that by 2020 there will be more than 1.5 million new digital jobs globally. In a world characterised by technologies that blur the lines between digital, physical and biological, education needs to evolve rapidly to meet the demands for a new type of knowledge worker.
There is already a great choice of digital learning platforms and better use of these could effectively prepare the future generation hence Namibia needs to look at more collaborative content initiatives and broader access to technology coupled with free internet access.
Given the scale of Namibia’s education challenge, embracing a digital mind-set and collaborating with strategic partners to address access and content, education could dramatically improve.
The possibilities are endless as technology has made learning even more possible. In a country that cannot build new universities to scale with population growth, alternative education formats need to become the default option, with short courses, certifications and online training becoming more common place.
Industry recognition of these alternative education options is also important as not every student will want, or be able to, complete a traditional four-year degree.
What the fourth industrial revolution has to offer is infinite. Students are no longer restricted to desks, textbooks and school programmes. The future student has access to countless videos, podcasts, learning models, apps and digital communities. All this is possible with access to the Internet and more so if the content is affordable.
The future of education is technology-driven. Digital teaching and learning platforms will play a critical role in making education not only a success, but more widespread and effective. Government should start collaborating with technology companies from the private sector to equip Namibia with critical skills.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015