June 10, 2010 – Despite the increasing government investments in ICT access for education, Cisco, Education Impact, Intel, Microsoft, University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and the World Bank Institute have identified that there is still a significant lack of guidance, professional development opportunities and regional best practices sharing available resources to the implementers and administrators who are responsible for making these ICT investments a success for local schools in the long term.
To help build the capacity of officials and professionals to better govern and integrate ICT in schools across Africa, the five members of this consortium have developed a “Certificate in ICT in Education for Policy Implementers” that brings technology and its accompanying 21st century skills into national curriculums and classrooms.
The organisations have designed a blended learning programme, called the “Certificate in ICT in Education for Policy Implementers,” for officials and professionals involved in the roll-out and integration of ICT in schools and colleges across Africa. The programme is aimed at strengthening their knowledge of the field of ICT governance in education.
They are collaborating on the “Certificate in ICT in Education for Policy Implementers” to help strengthen government capacity in the integration of ICT in schools. Their specific roles are:
• As a global facilitator of capacity development, the World Bank Institute has brought together its partners in both the public and private sector to help African governments’ address their capacity constraints to achieving development results.
• As ICT industry leaders with experience integrating technology into classrooms around the world, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft have supported the Certificate’s course development in focusing on three critical areas:
1) The use of computers in schools for pedagogic, organizational and administrative purposes
2) eLearning pedagogy and assessment, and
3) role of policy makers in the adoption of ICTs in education.
• Education Impact has helped designed the methodology and tools for the course based on their expertise as consultants to governments for local, national and international education initiatives.
• Wits’ professors will provide the instruction for the course and offer the accredited postgraduate certificate of competence.
The course offers three modules, “Computers in Schools,” “eLearning Pedagogy and Assessment” and “eLearning Policy and Practice” which will help build the capacity of officials and professionals to better govern and integrate ICT in schools and colleges across Africa. The Certificate itself is accredited by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, as a postgraduate certificate of competence.
“Simply dropping off a computer in a classroom is not a solution to the challenges facing African educators,” said Ntutule Tshenye, Citizenship lead, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa & Indian Ocean Islands. “We know from long experience that it takes strong support from the government to make ICT implementations sustainable and relevant to local schools in the long term.”
The course has been developed especially for middle to senior management government officials in Africa whose role in education is either in curriculum leadership, management, and policy or planning related to the use of ICTs in schools or colleges. We expect the certificate will be most attractive to participants from the ministries of education, universities and teacher training colleges across the continent.
“Building up the technical capacity of some of the most critical professionals in Africa is not a short-term fix, but rather a long-term solution to the local students and education systems that rely upon their expertise,” said Philippe Mero, CEO, Education Impact.
Participants are expected to have minimum of an undergraduate degree or professional education qualification, two years work experience and should be currently working in education or curriculum leadership, management, policy or planning related to the use of ICTs in schools or colleges.
In addition, participants will be expected to have competence in basic computer literacy, meaning working knowledge of the Microsoft office suite or equivalent, and established ability to use the Internet and communicate via email.
The course takes three months to complete. It begins with a month of introductory online modules, followed by a weeklong workshop at the Wits campus, and is completed by a further two months of online coursework.
Initially, 25 students from nine countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda) participated in a pilot workshop during the course development. Eight students from Nigeria and Tanzania attended the pilot course in April 2010 and a second intake of students is planned for later this year, where the consortium hopes to attract more students from ministries of education, universities and teacher training colleges across the continent.
The course fee per participant is $3825 or ZAR 28,500 and Participants can register on-line at: http://hermes.wits.ac.za/Enterprise/education/ or course details and registration forms can be obtained from: Ms Shalati Mabunda at Wits (Shalati.Mabunda@wits.ac.za)