Blog 3 (Fall 2016) – E-learning, by Nikole Maroe

“eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom”, eLearning NC.

Modern day technology has modified the way students are being taught around the world. However, it is a new concept of teaching so there are challenges that are being faced. Taking a look at Africa’s eLearning process, the challenges that the countries need to overcome are; internet access, availability and support and time.

Eight out of ten countries with the lowest internet availability in the world are in Africa. Without internet access, eLearning programs are nearly impossible. Developing countries have very little expenses to provide every student with internet access in the classroom, in result eLearning has come to a halt. However the countries in Africa that are doing outstanding with internet availability and eLearning programs are those with the biggest influence of foreigners and with local investment. Kenya is Africa’s leading country with the fasted bandwidth person and fastest speeds. Internet companies, such as Microsoft have made offices and have focused on education in Kenya. They have actually partnered with schools in the area to create and promote 4Afrika. This organization is an eLearning platform that offers educational tools and Apps to further the new teaching methods.

Availability and Support is the second challenge that needs to be looked at. Schools across Africa lack the availability of local investment. This meaning, all of the the material that is used to teach is coming from the United States or the United Kingdom. None of their curriculum that is being taught is local which makes it hard for eLearning to progress. This creates a challenges because in United States and United Kingdom the dominant language is English, which is not the case in all African countries. It makes it hard for the younger generation to learn in a language that is not their first. It also important to have material or content that is from the teacher’s and student’s local area because it is easier to understand and relate to for them. This where the lack of support comes in, “the government policies need to support students so they become familiar and can benefit from eLearning”, Gloria Otito said. As said before, Kenya is doing outstanding in the eLearning department but the rural areas need to have equally focus and support in eLearning.

Time is the last challenge that will be covered. Time is referring to time, time that teachers need to learn and grasp the way how technology can benefit their teaching methods. Vast majority of teachers in Africa were taught with little to no technology usage. When it comes to incorporating eLearning in their practices and lessons, most teacher feels as if they are being replaced and that their teaching has lost value. In reality, it is only enhancing the way they teach and further benefits their students. Otito said, “Government needs to give teachers time because the typical work day does not give them enough time to learn a new way of teaching”. These teachers are staying with the old methods of teaching because they simply have not have the proper guidance to advance, if they can’t advance their students can not as well.

eLearning has extreme potential and has just started to emerge in Africa. If done correctly with suggested strategies to overcome these challenges, the goal of delivering quality education through eLearning to schools in Africa can be possible.

 

Otto, Gloria. “The Reality and Challenges of E-Learning Education in Africa: The Nigeria Experience.” pag. 2013. Web. 2016.

Mubangizi, By Odomaro. “Africa: ICT for Innovation – E-Learning for Africa in the Cyber-Age.” AllAfrica.com. N.p., 06 Oct. 2015. Web.

“Importance of E-learning for Developing Countries – EFront Blog.” EFront Blog. N.p., 10 Mar. 2015. Web.

Andriotis, Nikos. “What Is ELearning?” E-Learning North Carolina. Web.

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