Andrew Kathindi

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has said that COVID-19 precipitated its purchase of 97 touch screen devices valued at N$ 8 773 407 (N$ 78 650 per screen, excluding VAT.

“Given that we operate in a corona virus era which is characterized by remote teaching and learning, the interactive touch screens offer us versatility,” Education ministry Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp, told Windhoek Observer.

According to the device’s specifications, they are able to allow for remote teaching where teachers are able to connect their learners through their smart gadgets and teach remotely in real time.

“The screens were procured in March 2021 and distributed to regional offices and schools in April 2021. Officeconomix also conducted training from 17 -21 May 2021 to 250 officials, including teachers from AS Level schools (2 teachers per school), regional and Head office officials on the installation, usage and functionality of the touch screens.”

Khomas state schools received the bulk of these devices with schools such as Ella Du Plessis SSS, A Shipena SS and Windhoek High School getting a device each while the Omaheke region received two devices.

Deputy Director of Information Technology in the Education Ministry, Johan van Wyk, had previously told Windhoek Observer that the cost of implementing e-learning would be N$500 million to roll out in terms of data, devices and connectivity to all the schools in the country.

The devices come as COVID-19 cases have once again began to pick up in schools, with a number of schools shutting down temporarily over the last week due to the outbreak. This comes as the education Ministry on Tuesday afternoon announced that a pupil from Hage Geingob school died of COVID-19.