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Column: Learning during “Lockdown” and beyond

With a phased “Lockdown’ for at least another few weeks, life really has transformed in Namibia for everyone. Well, life, as we know it across the globe, has changed forever. We have all been trying to keep busy, some still just trying to work from home, others baking, learning to paint, catching up on sleep or rehearsing the ever-important TikTok dances. O yes, and brewing has become popular in many homes.

We all cope in different ways. However, now with the extended “Lockdown’, the thought turns to what else to do. Picking up studies that fell by the wayside, or finally finding the time to sit and think how you want to develop yourself academically becomes something to explore. This is where distance education comes into its own, it is as if it was designed for a “Lockdown” scenario.

Distance learning is not learning in isolation, even if you are in “Lockdown”. Your network of other students, lecturers and tutors are all online. Students still work together in groups; they have sounding boards and people to learn from. This is all part of the distance learning education process. There are even dedicated forums and chatrooms online for students to interact and share ideas. You don’t have to set meetings, reschedule or commute to meet for assignments. By using available technologies, it ensures access to a wealth of up-to-date information for the distance learning student. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and now with the social distancing rules, it makes perfect sense to study from home.

With a multitude of courses, higher certificates, degrees and even Masters degrees that can be pursued through distance learning, there really isn’t a reason not to take the next step in your academic journey. With the added benefit of adhering to the “Lockdown” and being a team player in keeping Namibia safe and flattening the curve.

Technology is constantly and rapidly evolving and this is driving the evolution of distance learning. Recorded lectures, live streaming or video clips are used in higher education all around the world. With the proliferation of the Internet, email and social media, distance learning have become more accessible in Namibia’s remote areas; all you need is an internet connection. We are now even at a point where due to school closures children will also be engaging in distance learning.

So, if baking bread or brewing is not your idea of personal growth during “Lockdown” and beyond, then perhaps pursuing that certificate or degree is the perfect alternative. Come out of the very challenging situation we find ourselves in with new academic knowledge and accredited qualifications.

The future of distance learning is bright in Africa, the world’s present challenging times because of COVID19 have brought it into even sharper focus. Change your “Lockdown” story and start that course you have always been meaning to do, pursue that higher certificate, diploma or degree that you have been dreaming of to transform your life. Embrace the new normal.

Albin Jacobs is the Director for Southern Business School of Namibia. He writes in his own capacity.

Wonder Guchu

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