8 ADVERT Wednesday, July 12 2017 | NEW ERA www.namcol.edu.na • Find us on NAMCOL UPDATE EDITION 1 • JULY • 2017 NAMCOL launch student portal From left is Justin Ellis NAMCOL board chairperson, NAMCOL Director Heroldt Murangi and NAMCOL Deputy Director for Programmes and Materials Development Jan Nitschke during the official launch of the myNAMCOL portal. n its drive towards technological innovation, the Namibian College of IOpen Learning (NAMCOL) has officially unveiled newly acquired portal aimed to respond to its key focus areas of equitable access to quality education.Officially launching what the College termed “myNAMCOL portal” last week was NAMCOL Director Heroldt Murangi, who said the newly acquired innovation serves to address the strategic objective of creating a learner centred, flexible environment which is conducive to learning. Murangi expressed that students in a distance learning environment are separated from the institution in space and time.“It is therefore our conviction that through myNAMCOL we will be able to bridge the gap that exist between the institution and the students. It’s our hope that we will be able to reach more of the 47 032 students that have enrolled with the institution for the various programmes in the 2017 academic year,” Murangi said. Further, he noted over the years, NAMCOL has been using the manual method to disseminate information to students such as verification of personal details and results.He therefore stated with the new student portal the frustration of waiting to see marks is immediately eliminated, and real time information is available at the click of the button. “At the bottom of myNAMCOL lies an improved support system to our learners. The future of education is embedded in online access and learning that is the greatest revolution in contemporary education, as it opens great opportunities for everyone who wants to learn something,” the Director maintained. The portal has brought a great sense of excitement among NAMCOL learners who have already accessed their learning information by just a click of a button. The 19 year-old full-time NAMCOL student, Sharon Katuuo demonstrating how to use the portal. One such student is 19 year-old full-time student, Sharon Katuuo who said the portal has cut on her expenses.According to her, she no longer need to take a taxi to go to NAMCOL Head Office to go view her personal educational details, as she can now do so in the comfort of her home. “The portal helped me a lot because if I stay very far from NAMCOL, then I don’t have to come here using cab money. If I want to verify my results or anything regarding my studies, then I can just use the internet while I am at home. If I have parents or family members who are outside the country, I will just give them my pin code and then they can view how I am performing in my studies,” Katuuo said. Katuuo among other students took time off from their busy schedules and joined NAMCOL management during the official launch last week. At the event, she demonstrated how the portal works, since most of the students’ progress and academic information is already uploaded on the new system. Furthermore, she said the portal has made it easy for students to access their results through a single entry point without them having to visit the centres as has been experienced over the years.According to her, students can also use their mobile phones to rectify their personal details. For those students who are not yet on the portal, she urged them to approach NAMCOL centres so they can get assistance on how they can be registered on the system. Murangi emphasized that technology advances rapidly and changes educational playground, therefore, he stressed that as an educational institution it’s important to embrace the changes in this landscape. He said student portals have become one of the most visible information sharing platforms in the education sector. “As educators, we should think creatively and come up with new innovations to address the challenges our student population are facing. This cannot through traditional “talk and chalk” methods but through the use of technology. For us to be part of the digital age, we should adopt new integrated technology approaches to reach as many students as possible,” he noted. Through the portal, students will enter their unique login details to access information such as additional learning resources, assignment and examination marks, student accounts, calendar of events, campus news and events, discussion groups, reference material and links to other relevant educational materials, and other important announcements and activities regarding a students’ life and studies. NAMCOL equips youth with skills for the job market n its quest to offer affordable and quality education, the Namibian ICollege of Open Learning (NAMCOL) has taken the lead to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Development which is instrumental in the development of the country as well as the implementation of the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5). In May, President Hage Geingob launched NDP5 – to which government has committed N4, 2 billion over the next five years. NDP5 builds on the successes and achievements of the four previous national development plans, and recognises the challenges experienced during their implementation. NAMCOL Deputy Director for Programmes and Materials Development Jan Nitschke last week gave a brief overview of the new Bachelor of Arts in Youth Development which will be offered as of the 2018 academic year for the first time since the institution’s inception. He said the programme aims to provide specific competencies for effective youth development work that will enable beginners and more experienced practitioners to develop and refine skills in the field. He added that it further aims to equip those who finish this programme to work as managers in the field of youth development. NAMCOL Update asked Nitschke whether he thinks the course is in demand for the Namibian job market. He said youth development is in great demand and there is a need in Namibia for standardised professional training for youth workers in government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as at the community level. “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow and if not well developed you will continue to experience leadership challenges at senior management levels. Therefore youth development is really instrumental in the development of the country and the implementation of NDP5,” he stressed. Asked about the degree course’s background, he said the programme was identified by the Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre and developed with the support of the University of the West Indies and the Commonwealth of Learning. According to him, the purpose of the degree programme is to develop a cadre of professional Commonwealth youth workers equipped with the professional competencies required for effective youth development work at senior management levels within their region. He explained that it is a three-year degree programme offered on a distance mode with face to face sessions. Further, Nitschke said NAMCOL saw it fit to introduce the degree programme because the institution already has a Diploma in Youth Development in place where many students graduated and have been absorbed into the job market.“Based on continuous enquiries for the possibility of further studies by our existing graduates in the diploma of youth development work, the college felt obliged to provide pathways for our students to further their studies in this field due to a lack of relevant qualifications in Namibia,” he maintained. Additionally, he said a feasibility study was done to determine the viability of the course for students. Accordingly, he stated, they have consulted those in the field who have completed the diploma programme as well as the tutor-markers employed on a part-time basis at the college. From these consultations, he noted, it transpired that there is indeed a need for the Bachelor degree programme in the country. NAMCOL envisages implementing the programme in January 2018. Regarding the fees for the 2018 academic year, Nitschke said an amount of N$ 7 000.00 per student is payable for all modules, tuitions and examinations in the first year. Nitschke said the target group for the programme are the practitioners or professionals working with youth issues including civil servants, community and youth development officials, as well as interested individuals seeking competency at degree level in youth development work. Asked about the number of points one should have to be admitted to the course, he revealed prospective students should have 25 points in Grade 12 with a D symbol in English. However, he clarified those students who have already obtained a Diploma in Youth Development Work at NAMCOL are also eligible to apply. In terms of lecturers for the course, he indicated NAMCOL tutor-markers are drawn from this field and are the same ones that lecture at the same level at other institutions of higher learning. He said the degree qualification will enable a graduate to be on the same level as any other student having done a degree course at an institution of higher learning, since NAMCOL courses are accredited by the same body, namely the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA). About 19 modules will be offered during the course of study, including a research project, he said. Regarding other courses that NAMCOL has introduced for 2018 academic year, the Deputy Director stated there will be a new Certificate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship of which the first intake is also scheduled for 2018.
NEW ERA | Goodness Gang invades Food Lover’s market Page 11 Oil, gas investment set to recover slightly: IEA Page 12 INSIDE BUSINESS This news is your business Namibia’s GDP expected to rise in 2018 WINDHOEK Ipumbu Shiimi Namibia’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is projected to improve by 0.2 percent to 2.1 percent in 2017, before improving to 3.8 percent in 2018. The Economic Outlook for July 2017 issued by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) on Monday said the domestic economy is projected to register a moderate growth rate in 2017, before rising further in 2018. “These growth rates are an improvement compared to the growth of 0.2 percent in 2016, while the recovery in 2017 is mainly due to projected improvements in the agriculture and mining, as well as in the electricity and water sectors,” the report said. Over the medium term from 2018 onward, GDP growth will be supported by an expansion in uranium mining and a slower pace of contraction in construction activity. The report stated that the risks to domestic growth include slow recovery in Namibia’s trading partners and low uranium prices. Meanwhile, fragile global trade and a slow recovery in some of the advanced economies and leading emerging market economies remain a risk to a resource-based country like Namibia. “Furthermore, weak global demand for minerals such as uranium, copper and zinc coupled with a slow recovery of international commodity prices may slow production at some of the mines in Namibia,” the report said. – Nampa Photo: Nampa For sale… A poultry farmer in Ohangwena Region, Tauno Shikomba, hosted a chicken farmers’ day at his homestead at Oshali village on Saturday. Some participants are seen here viewing chickens that were on sale during the event. Nam producers should take advantage of poultry import suspension BONN Namibian poultry producers have been urged to produce more poultry to fill the gap created by the indefinite suspension of poultry products from South Africa (SA). Namibia suspended imports of live poultry from SA on June 27 after an outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry was reported there. Speaking to Nampa in a telephone interview on Friday, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) chief veterinary officer Dr Milton Maseke said the suspension of poultry from the neighbouring country is an opportunity for local poultry producers to assist the industry. “It is really a matter of our local producers responding to the challenges in terms of low amounts of poultry; but also our importers diversifying their sources of poultry to start importing from free countries.” Maseke said the country would be affected by poultry shortages in the short-term, however, there is sufficient poultry on the international market that can be sourced and traded or used in Namibia in the long-term. Avian Flu has the ability to attack avians, which are birds, but it can also become somatic which means it can change itself to attack humans. “The particular one which we are reporting at the moment, which is the H5N8, is not known to infect humans, but there are different strains of this flu like the H5N1 and H5N7 that are known to attack and cause severe flu in humans. “The flu is a very severe form of your usual flu that you get when it is cold with all the symptoms and if not treated can lead to mortalities also in humans,” Maseke explained. The H5N8 flu can be spread through droppings and contact with other live birds. He added that one cannot control the movement of wild birds migrating, thus poultry businesses, especially the bigger ones that produce a lot of broiler chicken, need to have bio-based security systems. “They need to have good fencing to protect access to the properties; they need to disinfect water sources and the feed sources to prevent the disease.” Local poultry consumer Jambo Shipanga told Nampa on Friday the suspension presented an opportunity for local producers to maximise and scale-up production to meet market demand and strengthen the economy. He added that local producers should, however, not compromise on quality, standards and pricing of poultry products. “They should be mindful of the fact that we have people that are lowly paid and people that are unemployed. So, local populations should be able to afford chicken as well,” Shipanga said. South Africa is Namibia’s major trading partner for poultry, including Brazil, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada, and other countries that meet the import requirements. – Nampa