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Covid-19 exposed inequality – Steenkamp

Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp, who admitted that Covid-19 exposed the matter of inequality, said although schools are expected to open on 20 April, children will remain at home.

Schools in Namibia were closed as part of curbing the spread of Covid-19. Initially, the schools were supposed to have been opened on 14 April but then President Hage Geingob ordered the lockdown of Khomas and Erongo regions.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Covid-19 Command Centre on Monday in Windhoek, Steenkamp said there won’t be any physical attendance of pupils.

According to Steenkamp, they want to restore a sense of purpose and learning when the schools open.

“We have very talented, skilled teachers who have not been sitting idle during the holiday, but looking at mechanisms for learning and teaching to continue,” Steenkamp said.

Steenkamp also said that parents will have to become creative in the way they teach children

NamCol managing director Dr Heroldt Murangi said the only areas within their institution that have been affected is the contact sessions because of the block system that could not take place.

Dr Murangi, who also spoke during the panel discussion, said they have introduced a notes platform that gives access to teaching notes. So far, he added, more than 5000 students have signed up on the platform.

Although Dr Murangi admitted that there were challenges among them electricity, the platform is a step in the right direction.

In addition, Dr Murangi said they have loaded over 2 000 lessons on NBC radio as well as some content on YouTube.

Despite its devastating effects, Dr Murangi said Covid-19 has provided an opportunity for collaboration between stakeholders for the benefit of education.

He further said that the pandemic has also brought to light the need to address the matter of internet access for all learners.

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Wonder Guchu

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