This week, the African Development Bank Group in collaboration with the African Virtual University (AVU) have concluded that in effort to improve access to higher education in Africa many are pleased to learn that the deliberations on the integration of e-learning and open education into mainstream education programs are fruitful, concurred Stefan Muller, Lead Economist of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) East Africa Regional Resource Center (EARC).
Themed “Integrating eLearning and Open Education to Increase Access to Quality Education and Training”, the conference brought together more than 100 participants including Ministries of Education and 22 universities from the Multinational AVU support project as well as the private sector.
The main objective of this first international conference organized by the African Virtual University and organized from 20 – 22 November 2013, was to discuss the future of e-learning in Africa and the role of Open Education Resources (OERs) including the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the ICT learning revolution.
“The conference is very timely, it is taking place at a time of ICT revolution in Africa. It is critical for the Bank to ‘seize the moment’ and ensure that regional member countries harness ICT technologies that will result not only in increased access, but also facilitate quality and relevance of education,” said Ruth Charo, Principal Social Development Specialist, AfDB EARC.
She noted that OERs, including MOOCS, have the potential to enhance access to quality education but certification and accreditation for the OERs has to be looked into. In all countries, especially in Africa, certification as an evidence of one having acquired training is almost mandatory.