Using Open And Distance Learning For Teacher Professional Development In The Context Of EFA And The MDG Goals: Case Of “The Pedagogic Drum” In Cameroon

Ndongfack, Michael N
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One of the Millennium Development Goals outlined strategies to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. According to the UNAIDS Statistics (2009) Cameroon’s HIV/AIDS infection rate stood at 5.81%. Of its population of 10,493,700 people, an estimated 610,000 people were infected with HIV. From 2001 to 2009, there was 127.083% change in the rate of infection among the population. An estimated 37,000 people die each year from HIV/AIDS in Cameroon. The data further suggest that there were approximately 330,000 orphans living in Cameroon because of HIV/AIDS. Worried about the situation, the Government of Cameroon and her partners have been working relentlessly to combat the diseases. Some of the strategies used in combating the disease are media sensitisation, free screening, free provision of antiretroviral drugs and more recently the use of open distance learning programmes through the radio to deliver learning content to teachers of primary and secondary schools. The objective of this paper is to describe how the Ministry of Basic Education in Collaboration with donor organisations have developed an open distance learning radio programme entitled “Pedagogic Drums” to trained teachers on techniques of teaching HIV/AIDS education in their classrooms. Additionally, the paper discusses the structure of the content, delivery strategies, monitoring, evaluation and feedback mechanisms. The targeted population were Regional Inspector Coordinators of Basic Education responsible for implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting to the central coordinating unit of the programme located in the Ministries of Basic Education. The data was collected through interview and analysed using inductive approach. The outcome indicates that many teachers now integrate HIV/AIDS education in their everyday classroom practices. Many children are now aware of how HIV/AIDS is transmitted, how it can be prevented and how to live with infected and affected persons. This knowledge has contributed significantly in reducing the number of infected children which stood at 8900 in 2009 to 6800 in 2011 (UNAIDS, 2012). // Paper ID: 131
Skills Development, Education for All, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Teacher Education, Professional Development