Networking Learning Communities for Development

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Perinbam, Lewis
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Networking Learning Communities for Development Presented at: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Valletta, Malta, 23 November 2005, Report to the Foreign Ministers Committee by: Dr. Lewis Perinbam, O.C. Chairman of the Board Commonwealth of Learning // On behalf of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) I wish to thank you for the privilege of making this presentation. I want to begin by expressing our gratitude to Commonwealth governments for their support, especially those who are contributing financially to COL. // Our six major donors notably Canada, the UK, India, Nigeria, New Zealand (which plans to double its contribution over the next two years), and now South Africa are COL's financial backbone. During the current three-year plan Sierra Leone and Tuvalu became new contributors and Bangladesh, Ghana, St. Lucia, and Tanzania became supporters once again. We thank them all. Their financial support manifests the value they attach to COL. // The past biennium marked a change in COL's Presidency. Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan (Malaysia) who served COL with distinction for nine years and led it ably during a critical period in its history was succeeded by Sir John Daniel (United Kingdom) who is bringing new ideas and vitality to the organisation. I am delighted that he is here with me today. // COL will celebrate its 20th birthday at the next CHOGM. Commonwealth Heads of Government created COL when they met in Vancouver in 1987. They believed that Governments could only bring education and training to all their people by using media and technology. Twenty years ago the focus was on the mass media. Since then an effervescence of information and communications technologies has created an even richer environment for learning. // These contemporary methods of communication have sparked the revolution in open and distance learning that defines COL's mission. Our task is to enable Governments to harness this revolution to national aspirations. We help them to develop policies for using communications in education, to create distance learning systems and to apply learning technologies for many purposes. // The Millennium Development Goals provide the framework for describing our work. Let me give you a few examples of how we are helping countries towards these goals

Learning for Sustainable Development,Community Development,Millennium Development Goals (MDG)