Tag Archives: Africa

Joint Initiative by ICDE and AVU to promote E-learning in Africa

Promoting access to higher education is now the focus point in Africa. Recently, initiative was taken on the 23rd by the International Council for Open and Distance Education or ICDE and the African Virtual University (AVU) to launch cost-effective and e-learning partnership comprised with efficient tools to cater higher education in Africa.

The collaborations between ICDE and AVU is aimed at promoting online learning, mobile learning and e-learning as an effective tool for enabling African citizens and others from any part of the world have access to University study, feels Gard Titlestad. Nonetheless, the question is whether the number of internet users is adequate in the country?

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What Statistics show?

The reading as brought out by the Internet World Stats, the total internet penetration rate within Africa shot straight from 3% in 2006 to 15.6% by June, 2012. Though the hike in figure is a good indication, the figure 15.6% is actually lagging behind world average statistic of 34%. Besides, Sub-Saharan Africa revealed only a minimum percentage of 6% aged between 25 and 34 having access to tertiary education, while in United States and United Kingdom the percentages showed at 60% and 70%.

Hope amidst Despair

Though everything is not as prospective as in developed countries, the good news is Africa records an amazing growth rate in internet usage, which is the highest in the world. What has triggered popularity of online study is lack of adequate physical infrastructure so as to meet the increasing demand of higher education. Bakary Diallo, AVU Rector told University World News that this is one of the prime reasons for escalating demand of online education in Africa.

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Diallo does not miss to point out that using communication and information technologies in education has actually helped a lot in saving institutional costs on diverse items like textbooks, physical classroom infrastructure and also the number of teachers. Thus, saving on cost the initiative is to promote quality education. Needless to say, there is yet a lot to gain from AVU-ICDE partnership.

The fruits of AVU and ICDE Partnership

The launch of AVU and ICDE partnership aims at promoting significance of distance, open, online and flexible education to enhance access of enthusiastic students to quality education, enhance e-learning attributes by advocating development of new technologies and methodologies and eventually facilitating networking and cooperation.

Undeniably, the partnership will help in increasing enrolments in higher educational institutions thus ultimately aiding African government cater educational goals to people at large. Diallo does not fail to mark out that e-learning is form of flexible education that aims at accommodating various students’ needs, even for those who are engaged in profession but aims at upgrading skills. He firmly believes that e-learning is about to revolutionise educational scenario within Africa by producing lifelong learners who will consistently keep on contributing to this world.

When asked about the outcome of this initiative in a country with low internet penetration, Diallo points out that the biggest advantage of AVU e-learning model is that it identifies biggest challenges within the country regarding internet connectivity. But the model disseminates study materials over CDs and also in prints to enable students have access to them without internet connection.

Thus, it is obvious AVU is hugely committed towards strengthening capacity of majority of African Universities engaged in offering e-learning programmes.

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Online Education shows Career Changers a Good Way to Study with Pleasure

In the recent years, a lot of post-secondary institutions have come up with a wide range of online courses. According to Dr. Gwen Hillesheim, a senior academic instructor working in one of the world’s reputed universities said that the internet has brought drastic modifications not only in the thinking abilities of students but most importantly in the education system conducted on a global basis. He further said that the career changers have never felt so easy in flexibly pursuing career programs like what they are doing now with the initiation of online education.

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Online Learning encourages people over 40s

According to reports published by Career Education Corporation, it was found that nearly 35% of the students pursuing higher education were career changers. Bilita Mates working in the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology also said that a huge percentage of online students over 25 have experienced major developments in higher education. In fact, those who are 45 and above are no more required to fall into embarrassments by joining campuses for a full-time course. Online educators will be taking the major initiative to fulfill their dreams.

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The changing workplace

Mattes however came up with another declaration that online education despite offering flexibility and convenience to individuals above 40 cannot be considered a primary alternative for the career changers. Owing to constant changes in the nature of work and job demands, the emphasis has been laid more on cognitive and decision making skills. The society at present runs on the basis of technology which was not so around 10 to 15 years ago.

Online learning is always advantageous

Online education has indeed been quite advantageous. The two factors – Flexibility and Convenience have altogether made this learning mode score higher than traditional classroom learning. A group of scholars came up with positive approaches towards the concept of receiving education online. They expressed wonder that what could have been better than getting an opportunity to study from home, work and handle family responsibilities at the same time?

According to Shelley Dixon, the online classrooms usually involve asynchronous learning ambiances where an individual gets the opportunity to fix one’s own schedules in order to cope up with his/her personal responsibilities. A student will be able to log in after completing his/her work shift and can thereafter pursue a career program with ease. Experts have moreover said that those potential students who take their online lessons casually might not fetch good results in the end. One should be rather serious enough to meet one’s own responsibility and get the assignments done as directed by the online educators.

Future for online learners is bright

Future predictions are absolutely bright for online learners. A good number of high school teachers have predicted that the online learners will take absolute pleasure in playing with latest learning tools and software applications. This will surely fetch better results to individuals in getting updated compared to those spending long hours in the brick and mortar classrooms.

In fact, the African countries have started making developments in their education systems. This is one of the reasons why the option of distance learning in Nigeria has become a craze for career changers residing throughout Africa. In other words, online learning has achieved omnipresence which will continue to inspire career changers till eternity. Whether it’s Africa, America or Asia, online education will rule at every nook and corner.

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