Swapo Youth League secretary for education Hofni Iipinge has called for the inclusion of information technology studies in the school curriculum for Grade 4-7, as well as subjects related to the 4th Industrial Revolution as he believes that with the evolving world, grass roots educational development on ICT and 4IR is pivotal to the countries vision of becoming an industrialized country.
“The need for early exposure of our learning community to the 4IR cannot be overemphasized as evident in speeches of most, if not all, national political leaders,’’ Iipinge pointed out.
The absence of ICT subjects at basic education level robs learners from vital skills and survival tools in this modern world of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), narrowing in some instances, their employability.
He also proposed that laptops be provided to every child on the basis of a one-child one-lap principle.
Many secondary school dropouts end up on the streets without any practical skill and compete for unskilled jobs in restaurants, hotels, bars and supermarkets.
Even some of these jobs required basic skills of operating machines, which many of these dropouts don’t possess, Iipinge said.
Many of them, he said, are unemployable because of a lack of basic computer literacy, pointing out that those who proceed to tertiary level are then forced to take up computer lessons as a compulsory subject. “I am pleased to indicate that nowadays, institutions of higher learning have improved on this score and students are expected to apply, study and submit assignments online as well as take quizzes online through using LMS”, Iipinge opined.
He therefore, maintains that it is high time for basic education to seriously consider establishing a computer lab at every government school in Namibia to enhance ICT education at all levels of education.
This, he emphasised will boost leaners’ cognitive development and open many doors for the future for many of them after the completion of their basic education phase as far as 4IR is concerned.
The education system should move in tandem with technological developments to address the current economic challenges in the world, Iipinge said, stressing that Namibia is not an island whose economic growth is inextricably connected to the global village. The Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Information Communication and
Technology and the Ministry of Mines and Energy therefore should coordinate the implementation of computer labs in all schools in Namibia.