Sharing Information and Experience in the Field of Distance Education as a Prerequisite for the Development and Survival of Distance Education in Africa

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Corporate Author
Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF2 // As elsewhere in the world distance education is one of the fastest growing developments in education in Africa. The ADEA Report (1997: 14) reports that the there is growing recognition in the whole of Africa of the value and relevance of distance education and training needs at a variety of levels. Distance education in Africa has experienced a number of changes over the past few years. These changes are reflected in the range of programs/courses, introduction of new media and more attention to student support. In order to to provide high quality programs, courses and services to distance education students it is vital that institutions share information and experiences in a wide range of areas in distance education (for example research, resource people, collaboration, workshop reports and programs/courses). At a PAN-African meeting (in Tanzania, 1990) the importance of information among distance education institutions in Africa was pointed out as one of the most crucial factors on which distance education in Africa depends. The field of distance education demands constant review and therefore needs worthwhile information in planning and implementation of distance education courses/programs. Distance education is used to widen access to education, raise quality of education (through teacher training, as well as by bringing resources into the classroom), and to bring new methods and approaches into schools. Distance education attempts to address the geographical problems that confront most educational systems on the continent. Distance education is valued in the sense that it means to offer economics advantages which are significant to any ministry of finance or education (Perraton 1992:8). // This article focuses inter alia on reasons why distance education institutions in Africa should share information and experiences in delivering courses/programs by means of the distance education mode. The need to share information and experiences emanates from specific needs in distance education institutions. This paper will briefly examine these needs seeing that they relate to the sharing of information and experiences. In relation to the topic of this article it is vital to look at the advantages of sharing information and experiences (for example the widening of support for ideas and services, as well as reducing duplication of programs), as well as ways to obtain information. //