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The event will stream live at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/avu2012
Nairobi, 9th July, 2012. The African Virtual University (AVU) will from 9th to 12th July, 2012 host a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop is the first step in the implementation of the AVU Multinational Support Project II that aims at helping African countries' improve their ICT infrastructure and programs, and provide technical assistance on their ICT in education policies and strategies.
From Left to Right: Abdoul Aziz Issa Daouda, Director of Cabinet, Ministry of Education, Niger, Prof. Arindo Chilunda, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Mozambique, Prof. Rogerio José Uthui, Chairman of the AVU Board, Hon. Prof. Adwok Nyaba, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, South Sudan. Prof. Harry Kaane, Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Kenya, and Dr. Bakary Diallo, Rector, African Virtual University at the opening ceremony of the AVU Policy Harmonization and Curriculum Conceptualization workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.
AVU Rector, Dr. Bakary Diallo said AVU aims to bridge the gap that is missing in higher learning opportunities in Africa due to limited access to tertiary institutions. "One academic challenge facing most African countries is availability of tertiary learning institutions due to limited learning facilities and not the lack of will to attain higher education credentials. This should not be the case anymore since there are alternative opportunities through distance and eLearning," said Dr. Diallo.
The workshop comes at a time when research has shown that majority of secondary school leavers do not get access to tertiary education and those who would like to may not know how to go about the opportunity to take up Open Distance and eLearning. This not only deters individual growth but also economic, social and political advancement in Africa.
The AVU Multinational Support Project II funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) will strengthen AVU and its network of institutions to deliver and manage quality ICT integrated education and training opportunities in 21 African countries. The outcome of the workshop will inform the implementation of the project across the countries and universities through panel presentations and discussions by the delegates.
Attending the four day workshop will be 180 delegates from Eastern, Western, North and Southern Africa in academia, government, and donor partners. Present at the workshop will be Ministers and high officials from governments, and Vice Chancellors from universities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan and Tanzania. AVU partners such as the African Development Bank, the African Capacity Building Foundation, UNESCO, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa will also attend.
The workshop will chart a path for the 5-year program which will include: the establishment of new Distance and eLearning Centers while upgrading existing ones; Developing four ICT Integrated Programs including teacher education and computer science; Mainstreaming uptake of mathematics and sciences for women; Introducing Research and Development; Promoting and Developing Open Education Resources (OER); and Offering technical assistance to countries on distance and eLearning policies and strategies. This will serve to enhance AVUs capacity and participating universities to increase access to quality education.
"AVU has united with more than 53 Academic Partner Institutions in more than 27 countries in Africa, and with innovative use of ICT, we seek to increase access to higher education. This is the season of university intakes for new students and the impact of eLearning as a form of accessing higher learning cannot be overemphasized. Africa is advancing technologically and institutions that are moving with the times have adopted the system so as to deliver beyond their classroom capacity," added Dr Diallo.
The workshop will close with a presentation of the policy framework document, and a signature of the final workshop communiqué by the Vice Chancellor's.
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African Virtual University (AVU) is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies.
Founded in 1997, AVU has graduated 43,000 students across Africa and established the largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions in over 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. AVU works across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa.
In 2011 AVU received global recognition for implementation of Phase I of the Multinational Project with an award by the US-based Education-Portal.com for its open Education Resources http://oer.avu.org activities in the category of "Best Emerging OCW Initiative."
The AVU is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with a regional office in Dakar, Senegal.