Effectiveness of Open and Distance Learning Approaches in Community Based Learning for Girls and Women in Kenya - A Human Centered Approach

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // Open and distance learning continue to play fundamental role in contributing to the construction of knowledge societies in a lifelong learning context. Despite educational challenges of the 21st century, and notably the Covid-19 global disruption in the education sector, open and distance learning concept has achieved notable recognition. It has had substantial impact on all education delivery systems. The objective of the research project was to assess the impact of open and distance learning approaches on education and empowerment of girls and women in Kenya’s Maasai nomadic community. The project was implemented during a fellowship program re-imagining African education in the wake of Covid-19. The research project was carried out in a formal, informal and non-formal setup. Community-led alternative learning model advocates for education practices that match and reflect the needs and circumstances of the excluded/disadvantaged populations. The model integrated open and distance learning concept in a community based learning. The project targeted six local Maasai women groups on house construction skills through purposive sampling technique. Human centered design approach was intensively employed in co-creating and co-designing the ODL-Community based learning approach. Key processes were triggering the community, ideation, prototyping, feedback, iteration and implementation. The instruction and assessment was facilitated virtually (80%), guided by a local translator and site visit by TVET instructors (20%). A community of learning was established with 10 local champions enrolled in instructor support training through blended approaches. Data was quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. Findings underscored that open and distance learning significantly reduced the constraints of time and place, reduced educational bottlenecks experienced in the traditional face-to-face system. It has significantly shifted knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in girls and women education. There was increased demand for learning and explored flexible and blended learning opportunities in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas. The project recommended affordable technology and digital learning strategies to improve equity and inclusion in education. Strengthen partnerships between communities, public and private sector for an enabling environment that includes digital infrastructure and digital skills user. // Paper ID 7900

Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Gender,Innovation,Women and Girls' Education,Community Learning,Nomads,Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD)