Corona challenges motivate
DaF cooperation remains committed
The Goethe-Institut Namibia Education Cooperation department was last year presented with various challenges in meeting its mandate to supporting the deliverance of German as a Foreign Language (DaF – Deutsch als Fremdsprache) at the over 53 Namibian schools. Despite the challenges brought by the Corona Pandemic, numerous projects were reconceptualised and delivered to meet the growing demand for DaF to over 8,000 learners.
The importance of sanitization when schools opened was also acknowledged through the deliverance of disinfectant solutions, thermometers and face masks to the network of nine PASCH-Schulen in Namibia, of which Concordia College Windhoek is the most recent member after inauguration on 20 November. With support of the German Embassy in Windhoek, Burth traveled across Namibia to visit schools like Windhoek High School, Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb and Otjiwarongo Secondary School. In her address at Concordia’s inauguration, German Embassy in Windhoek Chargee d’Affaires, Ellen Gölz said promoting the German language is a focus of the German Government’s cultural relations and education policy. “We believe that learning foreign languages fosters dialogue, exchange and cooperation between people of different cultures and backgrounds,” she said, adding it also creates new opportunities for study or work.
Burth said making 80 scholarships, youth camps and methodology-didactics courses for teachers and DaF learners possible had to be reconceptualised and delivered differently because traveling to Germany was obviously not possible. “We decided to instead gift a total of 20 teachers at PASCH schools and learners part of this year’s PASCH Youth Camp each a laptop for them to complete the scholarships to online German courses. Those teachers now have a laptop that could also be used in their day-to-day operations at the PASCH schools,” she said. Another development, the LaboRadio project, was postponed to 2021 and of the 75 applications from DaF learners across Namibia, those who did not make it into the top ten for participation next year May each received Bluetooth headphones as a consolation. “The top ten students in this project will next year work with local partners such as NBC German Radio and HitRadio Namibia and learn how to make radio programmes in German,” said Burth.