A distance education management model for the Polytechnic of Namibia

Keyter, Charles Antonie (2002-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A major factor affecting higher education world wide and in particular in Namibia is a trend towards massification. Within Namibia this trend is due to an increase in population, an increased demand for skilled human resources and an increase in political power of the formerly disadvantaged communities. This resulted in a rising demand that the government of Namibia provide access to higher education for increasing numbers of young people. The Polytechnic of Namibia (PaN) has therefore opted for distance education as a means of providing flexible and cost-effective education to the people of Namibia. The term "distance education" is currently accepted internationally to describe a whole range of educational activities in which teaching and learning take place without the students and the educators being together for all, or even most of the time. This is made possible by the use of communication media in the form of print, broadcasts, audio and video recordings, telephones or computers and often a combination of several of these, usually in conjunction with occasional face-taface contact between students and educators or between fellow students. These common characteristics are the result of the convergence of various traditlena and a variety of political, economic, social, educational and technological developments in different countries at different times. Managing distance education is a complex undertaking. In addition, educators have so far only had limited experience of managing distance education, because it has such a short history. This situation is further complicated by the fact that such diverse media are used, each with its own peculiar characteristics and that the scale of operation is often larger than in conventional education institutions. For the purpose of this dissertation distance education institutions were divided into four types, namely, dedicated distance education institutions, departments of existing conventional education institutions, consortia and hybrids. Furthermore, the internal organisation and management issues related to the management and administration of distance education were explored and certain criteria were identified to develop a normative model of distance education management for a mixed or dual mode institution like the PaN. The current distance education management model at the PaN was evaluated in terms of the normative management model identified. An evaluation was undertaken to identify the shortcomings and to make certain recommendations to overcome these shortcomings. A new distance education management model was also proposed. The aim of this distance education management model is to ensure that a suitable division of labour is created to fulfill the required distance education activities, and to ensure that all distance education activities are properly co-ordinated within the PaN and that the Centre for Open and Lifelong learning (COll) which is responsible for the managing of all distance education .. activities at the PaN gets the support it needs to carry out its task. The writer believes that distance education will increasingly be an essential factor in making education accessible at all levels, in all forms, to all people at every stage of their life. New technology is increasingly making this possible. Due to the fact that distance education will become of vital importance in the twenty first century, distance education practitioners and planners need to be more flexible and open-minded about distance education's appropriate role and usage.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Belangrike faktor wat hoër onderwys dwarsoor die wêreld en veral in Namibië beïnvloed, is 'n neiging tot massifikasie. Binne Namibië kan hierdie neiging toegeskryf word aan 'n toename in bevolking, in die vraag na opgeleide menslike hulpbronne en in politieke mag by die voormalige agtergeblewe gemeenskappe. Dit het uitgeloop op groter eise dat die regering van Namibië toegang tot hoër onderwys moet verskaf vir 'n groeiende getal jongmense. Die PoN het dus besluit op afstandsonderrig as 'n manier om buigbare en koste-effektiewe onderrig aan die mense van Namibië te voorsien. Die term "afstandsonderrig" word tans internasionaal aanvaar as die beskrywing van 'n hele reeks onderwysaktiwiteite waartydens onderrig en leer plaasvind sonder dat die studente en die opvoeders voortdurend of selfs vir die meeste van die tyd bymekaar is. Dit word moontlik gemaak deur die gebruik van kommunikasiemedia in die vorm van drukwerk, uitsendings, oudio- en beeldopnames, telefone of rekenaars, en dikwels 'n kombinasie van 'n aantal hiervan, gewoonlik gepaard met toevallige persoonlike kontak tussen studente en opvoeders of tussen mede-studente. Hierdie gemeenskaplike eienskappe is die resultaat van 'n sameloop van verskeie tradisies, asook 'n verskeidenheid van politieke, ekonomiese, sosiale, opvoedkundige en tegnologiese ontwikkelings in verskillende lande op verskillende tye. Om afstandsonderrig te bestuur is 'n ingewikkelde onderneming. Hierbenewens het opvoedkundiges tot dusver slegs beperkte ondervinding opgedoen ten opsigte van die bestuur van afstandsonderrig, omdat dit so 'n kort geskiedenis het. Hierdie situasie word verder gekompliseer deur die feit dat 'n verskeidenheid van media gebruik word, elkeen met sy eiesoortige eienskappe, en dat die skaal waarop hierdie soort onderrig onderneem moet word dikwels groter is as in konvensionele opvoedingsinrigtings. Vir die doel van hierdie proefskrif is afstandsonderriginrigtings in vier tipes verdeel, naamlik, afstandsonderwysinrigtings wat geen ander doel het nie, departemente in bestaande konvensionele opvoedkundige inrigtings, konsortia en 'n samestelling van twee of meer van hierdie drie. Hierbenewens is die interne organisasie en bestuursvraagstukke verwant aan die bestuur en administrasie van afstandsonderrig ondersoek en sekere kriteria is geïdentifiseer om 'n normatiewe model van afstandsonderrigbestuur te ontwikkel vir 'n gemengde of dubbelganginrigting soos die PoN. Die afstandsonderrig-bestuursmodel wat tans aan die PoN gebruik word, is geevalueer ten opsigte van die normatiewe bestuursmodel wat geïdentifiseer is. 'n Evaluasie is gedoen om die tekortkominge te identifiseer en om sekere aanbevelings te doen om hierdie tekortkominge aan te spreek. 'n Nuwe afstandsonderrig-bestuursmodel word ook voorgestel. Die doel van hierdie afstandsonderrig-bestuursmodel is om te verseker dat 'n geskikte arbeidsverdeling geskep word sodat die nodige afstandsonderrig aktiwiteite doeltreffend binne die PoN gekoordineer word, en dat die Sentrum vir Ope- en Lewenslange Leer, wat verantwoordelik is vir die bestuur van alle afstandsonderrig aktiwiteite aan die PoN die nodige steun kry om sy taak uit te voer. Die skrywer glo dat afstandsonderrig toenemend noodsaaklik sal wees om onderwys toegangklik te maak op alle vlakke, in alle vorme, aan alle mense in elke stadium van hulle lewens. Nuwe tegnologie maak dit toenemend moontlik. Aangesien afstandsonderrig 'n noodsaaklike rolspeler sal word in die een en twintigste eeu, sal die beoefenaars en beplanners hiervan toenemend buigbaar en oop van gemoed moet wees ten opsigte van afstandsonderrig se toepaslike rol en toepassing in die samelewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52633