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August 2006 - Namibia Ministry of Education agrees to role out the ICDL certification programme for end user Computing ICT Literacy Certification in Namibian Schools

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Namibia Ministry of Education agrees to role out the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) certification programme for End User Computing ICT Literacy Certification in Namibian Schools

The Ministry of Education in Namibia has undertaken to certify the computer skills of all teachers and students in Namibian schools over the next 5 years using the ICDL international certification program.
The ICDL Foundation of South Africa has formed a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education, and will assist them to provide Quality Assurance services as part of their regional commitment to supporting the ICDL programme across Namibia.

The ICDL programme achieved a major boost in Namibia this week with the announcement that the Namibian Ministry of Education will implement a plan to role out a complete ICT literacy programme for Namibian educators and students. This plan has been developed in partnership with GeSCI (the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative). This combined commitment of the Ministry of Education and GeSCI is a first for the global standard in end-user computer skills certification. GeSCI was founded by the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force in order to address the challenges of education in the developing world.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the capacity to address some of these challenges. Their unique power advances education more efficiently and at lower costs than traditional methods, improving the productivity of teachers and administrators, extending education to remote places and providing students with compelling content and tools for learning. As well, their role-out and the attached trainings will provide teachers and learners with a resume-boosting international qualification. Based on its ICT in Education policy, the Namibian Ministry of Education has established a Steering Committee, comprised of ministerial officials as well as NGO and private sector leaders, to take the lead in policy implementation.

The progress achieved is testimony to sustained commitment to the deployment of ICTs in schools as per the steps outlined in the comprehensive Implementation Plan. This plan incorporates everything from the development of a robust ICT infrastructure in schools, to the availability of reliable support and maintenance, and the delivery of electronically enhanced lesson plans and materials to educational institutions. The Ministry of Education has committed to training and benchmarking the ICT skills of all teachers, students and pre teachers through a network of Ministry accredited ICDL centres. The Ministry will achieve this end over the next five years, beginning with the Colleges of Education. The quality assurance of the project implementation will be provided by the ICDL Foundation of SA office in Cape Town.

The Foundation is responsible for overseeing the dissemination of the ICDL programme and associated programs on behalf of the European Computerized Driving License Foundation the global governing body of ICDL programmes. By partnering with not-for-profit, vendor neutral and international organizations the Ministry plans to benchmark their investments in human resources against global standards. This will be done without compromising its neutrality regarding software providers. The agreement was formally signed by Mr Iita Vitalis Ankama, the Permanent Secretary of the Namibia Ministry of Education. At an official ceremony/press conference in Windhoek, Mr Alfred Ilukena, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Education, outlined the ICT literacy project. Representatives of GeSCI, ICDL Foundation of SA and other dignitaries from the Namibian Government attended this press conference.

Mr Peter Davies, Director of the ICDL Foundation of South Africa, heralded the agreement and commented: “The ambitious scope of this project is indicative of the commitment which the Namibian Ministry of Education has to developing its most valuable resource – its people. The Partnership between the ICDL Foundation of SA; GeSCI and the Namibian Ministry of Education is the first of its kind in the world and sets a benchmark for other countries to follow to provide ICT literacy. We are proud to be involved in the ICT literacy program and the ICDL Foundation of SA looks forward to supporting the Ministry of Education for the benefit of people in Namibia.”

All parties have signalled their intent to make a positive impact on the Namibian economy and society as soon as possible. Work on this project begins immediately.

For more information, please contact:
Peter Davies ICDL Foundation of South Africa
T: +27 21 671 1070
E: peterd@icdl.org.za