In a move designed to provide African students with greater access to higher-education opportunities, the African Virtual University (AVU) is launching Open Distance and eLearning Centres in ten African countries over the next five months. They will be co-located in the following universities: Jimma University in Ethiopia, University of Nairobi in Kenya, Université d‘Antananarivo in Madagascar, Universidade Pedagógica in Mozambique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Senegal, Kyambogo University in Uganda, University of Zambia, and the University of Zimbabwe. The centres are set up within the framework of the AVU Multinational Project funded by the African Development Bank.
Founded in 1997, the African Virtual University is a Pan-African intergovernmental organisation whose aim is significantly to increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information and communications technologies. It has awarded degrees to 40,000 students across Africa and, with locations in over thirty countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the Continent’s largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. In 2009, the AVU trained 133 staff members from 24 universities in 17 countries to use eLearning methods in their curricula and in the management of distance learning programmes.
via eLearning Africa News Portal, 21 Dec 2009
Makerere University has embarked on a programme to decongest the university by opening regional centres across Uganda. Students from rural areas will be able to access lectures via a video conference system at five regional centres. The programme, which kicks off next month, follows an agreement signed on Monday between the university and Uganda Telecom which will provide the communication infrastructure and 2,000 computers. The university will have to pay for the bandwidth.
via Patrick Jaramogi of New Vision on allAfrica.com, 12 Jan 2010
An E-library project linking all the tertiary and educational institutions in the country to facilitate knowledge sharing and research activities for enhanced quality of education in Nigeria has failed to get off the ground.
The project had been developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council on the promise of N40m ($260,000) in the National Assembly’s 2009 budget, but the funds were never approved by the Executive.
via Erasmus Alaneme of The Daily Champion on allAfrica.com
The Nigerian Federal Government has said it will establish free universal internet service and viewing centres across tertiary institutions in the country. This is aimed at tackling the problem of low access to cutting-edge ICT resources among Nigerian students. Minister of State for Information and Communications, Ikra Bilbis, announced this at the weekend while commissioning a public viewing centre built by the ministry in collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund in Kaduna.
He said the importance of information technology cannot be over-emphasised, adding that the idea aims at putting information at the fingertips of the Nigerian students and their school communities in order to equip them to meet global challenges. “We are committed to ensuring that facilities of these nature are provided in all the tertiary institutions in the country. Already, we have finished constructing the first phase of the centres in all the six geo-political zones of the country and very soon, we are going to ensure that all schools, including some secondary schools across the six geo-political zones, benefited from the community-based communication programme,” Bilbis said.
via Imam Imam of This Day on allAfrica.com:
Early this year University Computing Center Ltd (a company fully owned by the University of Dar es Salaam) was awarded a contract to develop a Centralized Admission System to be used by The Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU). All admission applications to Tanzanian high learning institutions will be done centrally through this system.
Currently, all applicants are applying directly to individual institutions and this forces them to pay multiple application fees for each application in occasions where an applicant has to apply to multiple institutions to increase a chance of being selected. Another challenge is, all the these institution have to submit names of their successful applicants to High Learning Student Loan Board where TCU intervenes manually to remove duplicated entries to avoid multiple loan allocation to applicants. This process in done manually.
The Centralized Admission System addresses the above mentioned challenges. The applicant has to enter only the Index number for O -level and A-level Exams, the system populates the personal details and results from National Examination Council of Tanzania, and if the information provided matches then the applicant can proceed with selecting courses he/she is interested from all registered institutions. All degree programmes have their minimum requirement pre-configured which are used by the selection algorithm.
FSIU @ UDSM node proposed Chisimba framework to used to develop this application. Chisimba is an open source content management system which is the product of collaboration between the 12 African universities who are members of the African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources group.
The proposal was approved on April 2009 and the first demo of the system to more than 40 representatives from high learning institutions was on 12thNovember, 2009. The demo was successful and the system is expected to be ready for service early next year.
via Frank Tilugulilwa, Team Leader – Free Software Innovation Unit University of Dar es Salaam