Demystifying Distance Education – A Way to Meet Africa’s Training Challenges

Distance Learning in Africa

Currently, Africa offers many opportunities for growth and development. You’re lagging behind the continent in many areas of overall economic growth. All that is required is the injection of various catalysts that would accelerate the desired growth drivers.

The continent’s population has been increasing rapidly and this should be one of the growth drivers in its favor. However, in many cases this is not the case as the same population group (largely) lacks quality education.

Many governments place a high value on education and also spend a large part of their budget on educational programs. As is the case in Kenya on the East African coast, hundreds of thousands of young people will receive free primary education and then progress to secondary (high) school.

After high school, many qualify to attend college, but have no opportunities for admission due to limited space in local colleges.

The country needs openness to development in order to be able to create jobs and advancement. For development to happen, there must be quality training opportunities for the people who, in turn, are driving the development agenda.

Current statistics show that out of an average of 200,000 students who graduate from high school each year in Kenya, only between 11 and 12,000 are admitted to local universities.

This leaves a very large number with few opportunities to pursue higher education.

Distance learning has not yet been fully adopted, although distance learning providers have long existed in the region. The biggest challenge is the perceived thinking, education should only be done in the traditional classroom.

The need to create a platform to support the “demystification of distance learning” is paramount to any effort to leverage this training method that has worked successfully in other regions.

In order to bridge the “digital divide”, available technology must be used to facilitate this. The fact is that the cost of information, communication and technology components in the region has decreased drastically.

The government plays a role in the following areas:

Zero tariff taxes on hardware imported into the country, operating and rolling out fiber optic connections across the country, opening up communications supply to many players, thereby increasing competition and further reducing prices. Establish and promote e-learning development

Demystifying distance learning must provide answers to the following questions:

How does distance learning work and is it conducted? Information on accreditation and quality of training The different forms of distance learning available What courses are available in distance learning?

Distance learning must be established as a viable educational product for both career entry and advanced training.

Many parents and guardians need to be educated and informed about the many benefits of distance learning

Distance learning from global players will bring quality, market-driven training opportunities to the region that will complement what local higher education institutes are doing.

Distance learning is a way to provide thousands of people with the training they need to move Africa and Kenya towards the government’s planned 2030 Vision.

Improving a country’s human resource capacity for productivity is a prerequisite for social and economic development.

Formal and non-formal education are crucial for improving food security and rural employment and reducing poverty. Education is necessary for the production of a skilled workforce that can be employed in all sectors through consultancy, research, entrepreneurship and trade.

Given the limited training opportunities for higher education, distance learning is an important way to fill this training gap.

Africa’s development challenges will only be met if its people acquire specialized industrial training to provide a skilled workforce and set up businesses.

Distance learning with global providers from the more advanced training institutes is the way to go.

Demystifying distance learning in Africa is the right way to help open up training opportunities for both rural and urban people who need upskilling.

Thanks to Jeff Diang’a

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