African Virtual University (AVU) – Teacher Education

The relationship between the African Development
Bank and the African Virtual University started about a decade ago. In 2005 we started what we call the Multinational
Project 1. This project involved 10 countries and 12
universities. We were able to develop in terms of content
development 219 modules. We released these materials as what we call
open education resources, and now they are being accessed in more than 200 countries worldwide. We have the Center for distance-learning based here. (Nairobi University) And through the center we have been able to
recruit over 1000 students and the rate is going higher and higher and higher. We are projecting that in the next two years
we will have more than 10,000 students doing education by distance-learning. This center was set up as part of the African
Virtual University Phase 1 of the project involving several partner institutions in Africa. We have now trained about 120 students in
this program. Sixty of them graduated in December 2013, and the other sixty are expected to
complete next June. My name is Elkanah Njugana Warukira. I am
the head teacher of Thogoto Primary School. We are about 12 km from the capital city. The composition of the school is kind of a
cosmopolitan school. We have different tribes coming to learn together. I did the ITC basic skills from the University
of Nairobi. We have come to learn how to use technology
in our teaching and also in our management of the schools. Initially we used to do what we call the paper
teaching, the chalkboard and the teacher centered. But the introduction of this kind of system, we will be moving from the teacher centered learning to the pupil centered. When it comes to the actual teaching we are
able to explain those abstract ideas. Things like volume that we could not be able to explain.
With help of the computer, drawings from the computer we are making the learning more enjoyable
and more pupil centered. My name is Anne Nyawira Mwai. I’m a teacher
here in Musa Gitau Primary school. It has impacted my life and my working very
greatly because I am able to access materials from the Internet. And that material I use
it to teach, especially the science and the languages. Now days it’s good to be digital. So we would really love to recommend the program to other teachers. As you know teacher education is one of the
biggest issues Africa is facing today. If you want to have trained the required human
resources that we need in Africa, we need to have teachers – especially in math and
science. I think it’s a program that should be expanded,
because it’s an expensive program and the students tend to be quite poor. So if they
are not supported for the full four years they are likely to drop out of the program. I am very grateful for the organization. It was not easy probably for me to raise the
money to do the program. But having funded me I was able to go through
the program very successfully without strain. This far I am here because of the program. I am so grateful. I would recommend it to
other teachers and to other people who are interested. I would like to ask the African Development
Bank to continue with the sponsorship to other teacher’s students in Kenya and other countries
in Africa so that we can be able to uplift the standards of learning in our continent. I think the work we are doing is extremely
important to each of these countries and to the entire African continent. As well all know now, we have more school
leavers than spots in the universities. And somehow the universities are not able
to accommodate all the school leavers. Only 6% of school leavers in Sub-Saharan Africa
are getting access to higher education. And I think the work we are doing together
will definitely assist in increasing access to higher education and to TIVET to technical teacher education in the entire continent of Africa.

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