Capacity Building in Open and Distance Learning in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) recognises education and skills development as an important and integral part of regional economic integration. Consequently policy frameworks and strategies have been developed to promote regionally integrated and harmonized education and training systems, which can be credited for the considerable progress in education and training provision the region has made over the years, particularly at primary education level. // However, the region still faces a wide range of educational challenges. SADC Member States have therefore adopted open and distance learning (ODL) as a means of addressing some of these challenges. In spite of evident growth across sub-sectors throughout the region, ODL faces many challenges, which have necessitated the development and implementation of a Capacity Building in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Project. // This paper provides some background to the implementation of the project. It highlights the nature and scope of ODL provision in the SADC region, presents the rationale for the project and describes its key components and activities. The paper also outlines achievements to date and discusses some challenges associated with project implementation. Lessons learned are outlined.