NAMCOL: Taking Educational Exchange to Greater Heights

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A group of twelve educators and administrators from Botswana is currently in Namibia. The delegation, from the Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning (BOCODOL), is part of an educational exchange programme with NAMCOL. The main purpose of the three days visit, which started on Monday, is for the two sister’s colleges to share experiences and cement already existing relationship that was forged some years ago.

In his welcoming remarks, the Director of NAMCOL, Heroldt Murangi, said the visit comes a long way because ‘we started planning for it since last year’. He also said that the relationship between NAMCOL and BOCODOL is cast in stone because a MOU between the two institutions has been entered into about five years ago. Murangi highlighted four crucial areas in which the two institutions are sharing experiences and collaborating.

These are: quality assurance, material exchanges, collaborative research and staff exchanges. Murangi says these are very crucial areas where the two institutions need to work on and the two institutions can team up together to share resources. NAMCOL is ready to share its resources and in the process ‘advance our common agenda’, said Murangi.

On his part, the BOCODOL head of delegation, Thladi Lekopanye, thanked NAMCOL for the invitation and also challenged NAMCOL to return the favour. Lekopanye said that the main objectives of the visit was for bench-marking purposes in some of the areas where NAMCOL is doing an excellent job.

The whole benchmarking exercise aims to acquire ideas, knowledge and information on infrastructure requirements for setting up an online radio streaming service. Furthermore, the BOCODOL staff wants to interrogate NAMCOL’s online campus radio operational processes and procedures with an intention to learn from NAMCOL’s experience, how to set up and run such an initiative.

He said that his colleagues were particularly keen to learn more about some of the new innovations such as the on-line radio services that NAMCOL has already implemented. Other areas that the BOCODOL delegation is interested in are programme design, procurement procedures, material distribution and learner support once students have registered.

A number of issues came out strongly as crucial areas for collaboration during the indaba. Staff exchange was one of the issues. As part of the exchange programme, four NAMCOL area coordinators visited BOCODOL in late 2014 for a week. In 2015, BOCODOL staff performed a Quality Assurance audit (QA) on NAMCOL’s operations. NAMCOL will reciprocate in 2016 with the same agenda. Material exchanges and above all collaborative research are also key areas of co-operation because people want to hear about crucial areas of concern and interest in the two sisters countries, says Murangi. The indaba ends on Wednesday with the two institutions pledging to do more to bolster their collaborative project.

Originally authored by Alexactus Kaure

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