Posted by: APO | 20 May 2008

Survey on eLearning in Africa Published

Press information, May 20, 2008

 

eLearning in Africa: A Matter of Capacity Development

 

Berlin, Germany/Accra, Ghana. – There are many different eLearning practices currently evident across Africa. However, Africa’s educational institutions do not exploit the potential of educational technologies fully, suggests a report which was published by ICWE, the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) and the ICT4D Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, right before the third eLearning Africa conference. The largest pan-African event on ICT for Development, Education and Training will take place from May 28th – 30th in Accra, Ghana.

 

It might not be so much the “hard” infrastructural constraints that are holding back the expansion of eLearning in Africa, the report suggests. It is rather the “softer” dimensions of management, training and the development of appropriate levels of expertise in eLearning design that are the most important factors requiring attention. However, there is considerable enthusiasm about the potential that educational technologies offer – not only for universities and schools but also for lifelong learning and for marginalised groups such as street children and people with disabilities.

 

“We all need to be much more creative in our use of ICTs in African education,” said Tim Unwin, UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and Professor of Geography at the Royal Holloway University, London, UK, who steered the survey.

“eLearning is not just providing schools with more hardware and appropriate software. It is a matter of capacity development: capacities to address the different cultural needs of people, the infrastructure as well as different levels of training,” Unwin concludes.

 

The questionnaire was carried out in 2007 to people on the eLearning Africa database. Respondents come from 42 African countries and represent higher education institutions, primary or secondary schools, NGOs as well as vocational and technical institutions.


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