Community Needs for Cooperative Peacekeeping Training with Open and Distance E-Learning (ODEL) Modes and Open Education Resources (OER) in Africa

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Governance and social justice // One reason why peacekeeping training for African militia does not always bear fruit may be the ignorance of laymen, civil servants, educators and community leaders. In order to address this problem, greater community awareness is necessary. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) could become a peacemaker in integrating peacekeeping training in civil education programmes via Open and Distance ELearning (ODEL) in collaboration with the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE), the National Association for Distance and Open Learning of South Africa (NADEOSA) and the Southern African Regional University Association (SARUA). A substructure of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is currently promoting the use of Open Education Resources (OER), also referred to in ODEL as Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). COL and UNESCO provide a neutral platform for academics worldwide to engage in African affairs, especially in sensitive conflict regions where children and women suffer the consequences of various forms of military conflict. The challenge for the academe is determining whether peacekeeping skills training has any impact in curbing the violence spiral. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva has initiated a series of Peacekeeping Operations Correspondence Instruction (POCI) courses specifically for capacity building within global military institutions, civil police forces and intelligence communities and for diplomats and academics engaged in strategic studies. These courses can be downloaded free of charge from E-Learning for African Peacekeepers (ELAP) ( Likewise the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC), based in Nova Scotia, Canada, offers a programme focusing on training those serving in conflict zones, including civilians, military personnel and police officers ( Within this context the relationship between the major themes and subsequent crosscutting aspects for the 5th Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF5) are discussed under ‘Governance, Conflict and Social Justice” with particular emphasis on the application of ODEL methodologies. // Paper ID 69