THE Institute for Open Learning (IOL) is set to revolutionize access to student loans for distance learning with the approval of a USD 20 million term loan facility by the Deutsche Investitions und Entwikkelingsgesellschaft (DEG) to Trustco Finance.
In a massive demonstration of trust in the Trustco distance learning model that improved the qualifications of tens of thousands of Namibians after independence, KfW/DEG advanced more than NAD 345 million in debt.
Trustco now stands ready to invite, enable and assist a new wave of learners to embrace its tried and tested distance-learning model, especially after COVID-19 demonstrated that distance learning is set to become the new norm in education.
Traditional education and contact classes were dealt a devastating blow in Namibia with the COVID-19 pandemic and forced existing learning models into the online world.
The Group MD of Trustco Group Holdings, Quinton van Rooyen, added, “Trustco has been hard at work during the pandemic, seeking ways to fund the large demand we’ve experienced from Namibian students. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing across the globe, it has become imperative that the Namibian student population not be left behind as traditional educational institutions struggle to provide them with the education they require to become productive members of the Namibian workforce.”
Trustco’s Head of Education, Ilana Calitz, stated, “The Institute for Open Learning welcomes fresh funding for Namibian education, especially as the distance education model has proven to be in high demand during the current pandemic. This will enable our students to enhance their competitiveness in the current job market and secure their employment going forward. I am confident that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, and distance education will become an integral part of the educational industry.”
The loan facility will not only enhance the educational facilities offered by the Institute for Open Learning but will also offer students connectivity and devices to allow them to complete their studies wherever in the country they may be situated.
Adri Lambert, Head of Trustco Finance, also noted that, “While we anticipate a fresh influx of students that need financing, the newly added capital will also enable existing students to be able to refinance and restructure their existing loans, and allow them the freedom to continue their studies with less anxiety over repayments as we provide relief during these difficult economic times.
The massive media platforms of Trustco, Informanté Radio, Informanté Facebook as well as the various other platforms of Trustco with more than a million followers, will provide up-to-date information to allow and inform prospective students on the most convenient ways to access the educational loans. IOL can also be contacted through the various Trustco offices in Windhoek and towns throughout the country to join the Distance Learning adventure.
Namibia now has an opportunity to move more rapidly towards a knowledge-based society that will create wealth and narrow the income gap through increased qualifications and employment as well as entrepreneurship.