By Staff Reporter
Windhoek Gymnasium Online School is set to launch in January 2021, and will offer a flexible structured education to Grade 4 to 12 learners across Namibia and other SADC countries.
According to Ms.Lara Rothwell, Public Relations Manager for Nadia Rossouw Public Relations (NRPR) announced that with education moving online as a result of COVID-19, it became clear that there is a great need among many parents who are eager for their children to gain a quality education, but for whom it is not possible to send their children to a physical school – especially with Namibia being such an expansive country.
“Many parents remain concerned about sending their children back to school during the pandemic, especially those with immune-compromised family members living in the same household. The online school is therefore set to service these needs.”
The online school’s learners will follow the Namibian National Curriculum, with Grades 11 and 12 writing the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level, underscribed by Cambridge. This education option is not a home-schooling model, where parents need to take on the responsibility of teaching and continuous supervision. It is a learn-from-home online model where the parent assumes a smaller supervisory role similar to the role they would normally fill.
According to Colette Rieckert, Managing Director of Windhoek Gymnasium stressed that “During the COVID-19 lock-down period, Windhoek Gymnasium’s virtual and remote learning strategy proved to be a great success,”
“With the online learning strategy in full effect, it soon became clear that there is a great need among parents, especially outside the Windhoek Gymnasium family, who are eager for their children to obtain a quality education, but for whom it is not possible to physically send their children to school here. Namibia is an expansive country, with many learners being geographically unable to attend Windhoek Gymnasium, so the Online School is set to service this need,”
She however added that “This flexible education model is ideal for families who travel frequently or who live in neighbouring countries; for learners who have major commitments that affect their ability to attend classes at set times (such as young sports stars); as well as for children who desire flexibility to complete the work at times that suit them,”.
The renowned Windhoek Gymnasium remains first and foremost a physical brick-and-mortar school where learners can continue to attend classes on campus. The Online School offering is therefore an additional education option available to parents and learners who prefer this as a learning alternative. Many parents are also concerned about sending their children back to school during the pandemic, especially those with immune-compromised family members living in the same household. The Online School is therefore a response to this pressing need.
How the online school will operate
The Online School will implement the ‘HyFlex’ or hybrid flexible teaching model, which will see learners attending pre-recorded online classes from home, as presented by Windhoek Gymnasium’s highly qualified teachers. This is combined with scheduled face-to-face sessions over three days every month with fellow online classmates at Windhoek Gymnasium.
The purpose of the monthly face-to-face sessions at the school allows for a thorough ‘deep dive’ and intense revision of the work that online learners had to cover on their own. These contact sessions also provide learners with the opportunity to participate in practical-based group activities such as coordinating science experiments or building a robot. This is in line with the school’s vision to assist with learners’ holistic development by creating opportunities for them to socialise and collaborate.
Large assessments, such as test weeks and examinations, will continue to be written under controlled conditions at Windhoek Gymnasium. As with Windhoek Gymnasium’s ‘full time’ learners, the online school’s learners will follow the Namibian National Curriculum, with Grades 11 and 12 writing the Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level, under scribed by Cambridge.
Learning at your own pace
The flexibility provided by the Online School is ideal for learners who are motivated and committed to a self-study environment. Once registered to the school’s online platform, learners will have access to the video recordings of classes. This means dedicated learners will be able to move through the curriculum at their own pace.
Rieckert stresses that the Online School is not a home-schooling model, where parents need to take on the responsibility of teaching and continuous supervision. It is a learn-from-home online model. The parent thus assumes a smaller supervisory role similar to the role they would normally fill (e.g. checking that the learner has done their homework).
“All the years of funding and development of our online offerings have paid off during lockdown, as Curro was well-positioned to pivot to an online learning environment. We are grateful that we’re able to expand our online offering even further, ultimately continuing with our mission to offer quality independent education to more learners across Southern Africa,” Andries Greyling, CEO of Curro Holdings furthers.
Registration for the Windhoek Gymnasium Online School is open to any learner in Namibia and other SADEC countries, and learners do not need to have any prior association with the school to apply. Fees for the primary school are N$ 3 800 and N$ 4 700 for the high school, and the deadline for applications is 15 November 2020.