By Novell Zwange – NAIROBI, KENYA -Raising funds to enable African education professionals to benefit from the networks and resources of the largest annual pan-African conference on ICT-supported learning is such a noble initiative.
eLearning Africa today launched the Scholarship Trust EAST, a not for profit organisation designed to enhance knowledge sharing and to promote awareness of the benefits of technology-assisted learning and training across Africa. eLearning Africa is the largest pan-African conference on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development, Education and Training.
EAST builds on the previous eLearning Africa bursary programme. It offers scholarships to low-income, disadvantaged education professionals to help them take advantage of the networks, resources and conferences of eLearning Africa.
Participation in Africa’s premier eLearning event will ensure that educators, practitioners and researchers across the continent become part of the innovation process, enabling them to pass on useful knowledge to their own communities.
“eLearning Africa gave me the much appreciated opportunity to network and to disseminate the information I had gathered, allowing me to gauge our development against regional and international parameters,” said Karen Ferreira-Meyers from the University of Swaziland, who participated in eLearning Africa in Lusaka in May 2010 through a bursary programme.
“With one of the largest populations of young people in the world, education is at the heart of Africa’s future. eLearning and access to information are vital,” says Rebecca Stromeyer, eLearning Africa organiser and founder of the EAST organisation. “EAST will help to raise awareness of the benefits of technology-enhanced learning on the continent and contribute to the development of new initiatives.”
“History has it that eLearning Africa has been a success,” says Charles Senkondo, Executive Director of the Tanzania Global Development Learning Centre (TGDLN), who is involved in organising eLearing Africa 2011 in Tanzania. “Since its inception in 2006, the conference has constantly built up and linked a worldwide network of decision-makers from governments and administrations with education practitioners from public and private education institutions, industry and important partners in development cooperation. It is this unique community of practice which enables us to spread the benefits of ICT-enhanced education across the African continent.”
EAST seeks the assistance and partnership of like-minded foundations, corporations and international organisations for the following programmes: The Practitioners Scholarship Programme, The Expert Scholarship Programme, The Mentorship Programme and The Africa eContent Awards.