African Council for Distance Education Keynote

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Presentation on community, distance education and Network delivery from Lagos Nigeria, July 2008


  • 1.African Congress for Distance Education July, 2008 Lagos , Nigeria
    • Three Routes to Inclusive Education

Text Terry Anderson, Ph.D. Canada Research Chair in Distance Education [email_address] 2. What is Inclusive Education?

  • Right and a Benefit:
    • inherent right to education on basis of equality of opportunity.
    • All students can learn and benefit from education.
      • Wikipedia

3. What is Inclusive Education?

    • Adaptative:
    • No student is excluded from, or discriminated within education on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, disability, birth, poverty or other status.
    • Schools adapt to the needs of the students, rather than students adapting to the needs of the school.
    • Individual differences between students are a source of richness and diversity, and not a problem.

4. What is Inclusive Education?

  • Student Centered:
    • The students views are listened to and taken seriously.
    • The diversity of needs and pace of development of students are addressed through a wide and flexible range of responses.

5. The old models of education have failed to meet these basic needs 6. Who are the Students?

  • By the year 2020, 40% of the global workforce will be knowledge workers, with a need for tertiary qualifications.
  • to achieve sustainable economic development, the Age Participation Rates (APR's) in Higher Education (HE) must be in the region of 40 to 50%, as they are in many developed countries. Angela Kanwar, Commonwealth of Learning 2007


  • In numerous countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa these participation rates languish below 10 percent.Daniel, Kanwar & Uvalic-Trumbic 2006

8. Right to Education 2008 - Special Issue five peer reviewed Journals

  • Article 26 of the UN declaration stateseveryone has the right to education, and that technical and professional education shall be made generally available .
  • IrrodlSpecial Issue

9. New Educational Models

  • The old model of providing expensive residential education for small elite numbers of the population has not worked in developed countries and is even less likely to work in developing countries.
  • We need to re-examine older community models of education
  • We need to insure that current models of open and distance education are operating most effectively and
  • We need new models, new ideas, new technologies and new visions to allow learners to actively participate in the creation of their own educationand learning opportunities.

10. 1. Community BasedEducation Systems

  • John Dewey (1915) pointed out engagement with the geographic spaces as place-based education that we inhabit is critical for effective and engaged learning.
  • "Experience [outside the school] has its geographical aspect, its artistic and its literary, its scientific and its historical sides. All studies arise from aspects of the one earth and the one life lived upon it" (p. 91).

11. It is the meeting of the needs of all learners in a given community, in formal and non-formal settings, without sacrificing their uniqueness, that constitutes inclusive education. (Tanzanian, Joseph Kisanji, 1998 P. 66) 12. What is community education?

  • process designed to enrich the lives of individuals and groups by engaging with people living within a geographical area, or sharing a common interest,
  • to develop voluntarily a range of learning, action and reflection opportunities, determined by their personal, social, economic and political needs. (CeVe Scotland 1990)

13. Kisanji (1998) indigenous customary education

  • takes learning away from individual content acquisition to social opportunity to validate, test, reinforce and challenge each other.
  • In the process social capital is gained by individuals and groups allowing them to define and create their own futures, rather than being controlled and constrained by the often oppressive constraints of powerful elites and minorities.
  • Saw this in the activities of the ACDE virtual conference proceeding this conference

14. The name they chose, Schools Uniting Neighborhoods, or SUN schools, reflects the belief that schools, working with their communities can do more than just teach math and reading, they transform neighborhoods.Portland Oregon 15. Key Components of Community Education

    • Shared accountability
    • High expectations
    • Build on community strengths
    • Embrace diversity
    • Strong partnerships
    • Avoid Cookie Cutter solutions

16. 17. Nigeria 923,000 sq Kms Population 148,000,000 18. KNet First Nations E-Supported Communities 19. Delivery Model Moodle Open Source LMS Real Time Web Conferencing A teacher at every community Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities. Challenges: Bandwidth installation of wireless in all communities Funding competes with residential school model Teacher innovation -We teach the way we were taught 20. Slate Falls Ka Band Satellite Dish Install 21.

  • One project in particular demonstrated how ICTs could benefit the entire community. Shortly after Eabametoong was connected, the school started a community-based GPS map making project that documented the traditional lands of the First Nation.

22. First Nations Education in Canada

  • Despite being connected to the Internet since 1999, First Nations schools and communities are in trouble!
  • A 2007 study of First Nations Schools across Canada stressed the need to:
    • encourage students to be aware of and feel responsible for the lands their ancestors have occupied and
    • better prepare and encourage the students for employment opportunities that exist within Indigenous territories and beyond.
      • (OConnor, 2007)

23. Local Context Localized Issues, Opportunities, Support,Elders Challenges Internationally Defined Standards of Accomplishments, PISA Rather than attempting to shape stakeholders to the needs of some internationally defined conception of progress .....explore ways in which schooling might take account of the aspirations of stakeholders in order that it might be meaningful to their lives and to their own development needs (Carney, 2003) x 24. 2. The Distance Education Solution

  • Distance education is about access - without access, there is no inclusive education -everyone is excluded!
  • fully centralized, single-mode, national distance education provider, gaining greater economies of scale by offering courses to a mass market, thereby justifying a greater investment in more expensive course materials (Simonson, et al, 2003, p. 49).

25. Athabasca University,Alberta, Canada *AthabascaUniversity Fastest growing university in Canada 34,000 students 700 courses Graduate and Undergraduate programs Largest Master and Doctorate of Distance Education programs Only USA Accredited University in Canada

  • Athabasca University

26. Costing/funding of Distance Education

  • In 2005, Athabasca University received approximately $18 million, or about 34% of its total revenue, from provincial government operating grants. The University of Lethbridge received about 54% of its total revenue from government grants during the same period. (Annand 2005)
  • Lethbridge 3% annual growth Athabasca 10-20%
  • Yet both institutions have the same tuition costs

27. The Distance Education contribution to Inclusiveness

  • Indonesias Universitas Terbuka, even though it had a very low graduation rate, had a total cost per graduate that was one-third of the cost in conventional universities, while the cost per graduate to the state was less than 30% of the cost elsewhere. Daniel, 2003

28. Enhancing and CreatingNew DE Models

  • Western Governors UniversityIt was the first US university to build its entire academic system around a competency-based academic model that relies upon students demonstrating skills and knowledge through rigorous assessments instead of class time and grades.
  • WGU receives no state support yet is able to grow dramatically with one of the lowest tuitions among online universities (approximately $5,800 per year for most undergraduate and graduate programs). ( June 4, 2008)


  • In Malawi, use of correspondence education with tutorial support through study centers was shown to operate at from one quarter to one fifth the recurrent cost per student of that in a regular secondary school (Curran and Murphy, 1992).
  • Af