The 6th African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) conference successfully concluded with a call for education stakeholders to consider the huge potential of open and distance learning (ODL) to change the face of education in Africa.
The two-day virtual conference touched on almost all of the initial challenges facing education in Africa and how these challenges can be addressed.
In a welcoming speech by ACDE President, Professor Goski Alabi suggested the need to view distance and open learning as a viable adjunct to contact learning in a post-COVID era.
His rallying speech was important, given the terrible disruption COVID-19 has caused to teaching and learning not only in Africa but around the world.
Organizers brought together a diverse group of distinguished speakers and attendees to reflect the theme of this year’s conference, dubbed “Open and Distance Learning Amid COVID-19: The Continental Strategy for Africa (CESA ) and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) â
Present at the conference were Dr Teresa Mwona, Executive Director of ACDE; Professor Jonathan Mba, Research Director at the Association of African Universities (AUA); Prof Peter Okebukula, Chairman of the Board, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and Prof Mohammed Salifu, Director General – Ghana Education Commission.
In its sixth year, ADCE has cultivated and nurtured a group of partner institutions that have shown immense admiration for the Council, its leadership and initiatives. ACDE has enjoyed tremendous support from these institutions in collaborative learning, case sharing and problem solving.
The two-day event was represented by HE Peter Kwasi Kodjie, General Secretary of the All Africa Students Union (AASU); Professor Asha S. Kanwar, President and CEO, Commonwealth of Learning; Teacher. Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AUA) and Prof. Paul Wainaina, Secretary General of ACDE and Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University.
The others are HE Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology; Teacher. Moeketsi Letseka, UNESCO Chair in UNESCO Open Distance Learning; Teacher. Boubakar Barry, African Research and Education Network (AFREN) and, Mr. Tao Zhan, Director UNESCO IITE.
Education Minister Dr Yaw Adutwum presented the Government of Ghana’s compliments to the Board and assured the conference that the country is in the process of hybridizing education to reflect the new educational changes occurring in the landscape. education.
Academics and researchers also presented papers on different issues regarding higher education, qualifications, open and distance learning and other related fields. Recognizing the importance of research for the growth of open and distance learning (ODL), the Council awarded certain individuals and groups for the best conference paper presented.
Addressing the conference, the guest of honor, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, HE Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, praised ACDE’s consistency in promoting open learning and distance in Africa.
He paid glowing compliments to all stakeholders who are adding their shoulder to the wheel by working on the design of other alternative educational frameworks.
The Council awarded a Distinguished Service Award to HE Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo for his work in promoting open education and distance learning in Africa.
The University of South Africa (UNISA) has also been recognized for being a renowned, comprehensive, flexible and accessible open distance learning institution that motivates a generation towards a vision of shaping the future in the service of humanity. which can solve Africa’s enormous education and development problems. supporting these institutions in collaborative learning, case sharing and problem solving.