Development of E-Learning in Africa

If there’s one place that e-learning has the potential to transform lives, then that has to be Africa.   The continent has always struggled with education – poorly resourced schools, colleges and Universities are very much the normal state of affairs.  In many areas there is virtually no provision for education at all, especially for poorer families.

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Of course e-learning can cover all sorts of areas, but one of the most popular is the chance to develop language skills particularly English which opens up many doors for students.  In many parts of Africa though there is little chance for students to meet and talk with English speakers in order to develop their language skills.  Interactive software is one area where hopefully ICT can bridge this gap.

There are of course a huge number of online resources already available, however there are extra difficulties in Africa.  The network infrastructure is not too bad now, having been developed extensively over the last decade but there is some need for people to use the resources available and actively bring technology into the classroom.  Some resources are actually not available in Africa due to restrictions although you an always buy proxies like these to bypass these restrictions if needed.

Organisations are however actively involved in projects to try and help with these issues often proactively working with NGOs in deprived areas.  Some organisations like Clarity English have a range of projects being implemented in Africa.  One such initiative is sponsoring the education of 25 vulnerable girls in East Africa  – the aim to help them complete their secondary education, something that is often not completed.

They have also developed a tools called the Clarity Course Builder which helps teachers develop a curriculum and lesson plans made up of their own materials and digital resources available online like YouTube videos, web sites and academic resources.

This has great potential to help teachers find and use materials that could help in the classroom and using the technology to the best benefit.  It also means that children will develop some ICT skills as they learn which is becoming a prerequisite for employment in the modern world.

There is certainly less reason for the continent to be as disadvantaged as it has been previously especially in the education sector.  As always there are some barriers, however just as I have a block to stop me watching BBC Iplayer in France, there are ways and means to level the playing field and bypass these – here’s an example.