For the second straight day the University of Gondar’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in collaboration with Arizona State University, United States International University (USIU), the Mastercard Foundation regional office and other stakeholders held an exchange of experience to increase and modernize the institution’s online education (e-learning). The meetings took place in recent days and incorporated deans, directors and UoG higher officials at the Senate Hall of the university.
E-learning in Africa has seen significant growth in recent years as access to technology and the internet continues to expand across the continent. Many African countries are leveraging the benefits of digital learning to overcome the challenges of traditional education, such as limited resources and large class sizes.
Opening the talks, the co-director of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UoG, Dr. Molalign Belay, gave a welcome speech and expressed his belief that the exchange of experiences will play a significant role in the implementation of online learning at the university.
However, some in attendance shared their apprehension by raising questions and forwarding pertinent suggestions. Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, and who is heading e-learning initiatives in the American based university focused on sharing ideas that would springboard UoG’s efforts in the future. “When e-learning is thought of at your institution,” shared Dale, “the administration really needs to look into policy, pilot programs, and the human resource aspect of the work to be done. If all these things are taken care of you will be off to a wonderful start.”
During the days discussions presentations were given by leading researchers and stakeholders in the e-learning initiative at UoG. Dr. Tadese Abera who is an Education professional and assistant lecturer from the College of Education shared his presentation entitled, “Opportunities & Challenges in the Transition to E-learning” and Mr. Hailemariam Kerie, who is the Director of the ICT directorate presented a power point entitled, “LMS implementation: what are the favorable factors.
Based on the presented research articles, scholars from the field from the United States shared their best experiences about e-learning. The guests also confirmed that they will work together to further modernize the e-learning system of the university.
With e-learning, students have access to a wide range of educational materials and can learn at their own pace, with the ability to revisit lessons as needed. Additionally, e-learning provides teachers and instructors with new tools for delivering content and engaging with students, and has the potential to improve education outcomes and close the skills gap in African countries. While there are still challenges to overcome, such as limited internet connectivity in rural areas and a need for more affordable devices, the future of e-learning in Africa is promising, and holds great potential for transforming education and improving opportunities for people across the continent.