At least 12 to 15 per cent of Africa’s workforce should have attained tertiary education if the continent is going to compete in the global economy, the director of African Virtual University (AVU) has said.
While citing educationists and economists, Dr. Bakary Diallo observed that African universities need to make Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) an integral part of teaching and learning if Africa is to attain Millennium Development Goals and Education for All.
He was speaking at the launch of the AVU Multinational Project II at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) on Monday.
“The average enrolment in Sub-Saharan Africa Higher Education is 6 per cent,” he said. “This is the right time for African Universities to consider using eLearning to address the growing need for quality and affordable education and training”.
The project, funded by the African development Bank (AfDB) is aimed at strengthening African Virtual University and its net work of institutions to deliver and manage quality ICT integrated education and training opportunities.
KIST Rector, Dr. Christine Gasingirwa, welcomed the project, saying the support from AVU had come at a critical time when KIST was looking to increase student enrolment through alternative learning methods.
“The Open Distance and eLearning Center will help us increase uptake of students from all corners of the country,” Dr Gasingirwa said.
Last month, the AVU held the Teacher Education and Computer Science Curriculum Design workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop brought together about 170 participants from 33 African countries to review the curriculum for the Bachelor of Teacher Education in Mathematics and Sciences, as well as to develop the curriculum for the Bachelor of Applied Computer Science.
During the workshop, Vice Chancellors from 26 African Universities agreed to work with the AVU to collaboratively implement the AVU multinational project.
The project includes technical assistance to countries and universities, enhancing the use of open educational resources, and implementation of programs such as the teacher education, computer science and peace and conflict resolution, as well as capacity enhancement of university academics in developing, managing and implementing their own program using eLearning programs.
Through the project, the AVU will also work to reduce gender disparity in science disciplines by awarding scholarships to female students.
African virtual University is a Pan African intergovernmental organisation established with the aim of increasing access to quality education and trainings through the innovation use of information communication technology (ICTS).