Windhoek Gymnasium launches online school

By Confidente Reporter

WINDHOEK Gymnasium, a school managed by Curro Holdings, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed independent education provider, recently announced the launch of a new online school that is set to be launched in January 2021, and will be offering flexible yet structured education to grade four to 12 learners across Namibia and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Colette Rieckert, Managing Director of Windhoek Gymnasium  said the online school is an initiative to enable parents to chose on whether to send  their children to face-to-face education or rather through online education amid Covid-19 pandemic.

“During the Covid-19 lockdown 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. 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,” said Rieckert.

Windhoek Gymnasium School remains first and foremost a physical brick-and-mortar school where learners can continue to attend classes on campus.

The online school will implement the ‘HyFlex’ or hybrid flexible teaching model, which will see learners attending pre-recorded online classes from home. 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,” said Rieckert.

Rieckert said that once a learner is registered with the school’s online platform, learners will have access to the video recordings of classes, meaning that learners will be able to move through the curriculum at their own pace.

Rieckert also said 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).”

Andries Greyling, Curro Holdings CEO said that he is happy to see online offering expanding across the region.

“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,” said Greyling.

Registration for the Windhoek Gymnasium Online School is open to any learner in Namibia and other SADC 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 November 15 2020.