Last updated: 07.06.12

Africa 'is embracing online learning'

E-learning is having a significant impact to the education of people in Africa, a new study has revealed.

The eLearning Africa 2012 Report, complied by German organisation eLearning Africa, found 48 per cent of those surveyed utilise mobile tools in education, while 74 per cent use information and communication technologies to support tuition within the classroom,

Furthermore, 36 per cent have taken advantage of shared resource computing within academic centres.

The most important factor hampering the growth of African online learning is a lack of bandwidth, the investigation found.

Ministers and the government were highlighted as the top agent for change in e-learning, while the main motivation for educators to use digital technologies was to boost the quality of their teaching, with this the reason for 42 per cent of those polled to take advantage of these innovations.

However, 21 per cent claimed they utilise e-learning tools in their tuition to assist learners in developing 21st-century skills, while 17 per cent highlighted the importance of online learning in providing education to people in remote regions.

While 43 per cent of respondents came from higher education facilities, 20 per cent taught in primary, secondary or middle schools and another 20 per cent dealt equally across all academic sectors.

A further 11 per cent performed within technical vocational training and education.

The most popular country for respondents to work in was Nigeria, representing 16 per cent of the people surveyed, with this followed by South Africa at 14 per cent.

"The aspiration of The eLearning Africa Report is to provide regular, yearly snapshots of how perceptions and realities combine and collide over time, with particular reference to the eLearning experience in Africa.

"It is hoped that these will lead to richer, more nuanced conversations, healthier decision-making and more effective action-taking towards ensuring 'Education for All' in Africa," report author and programme director for eLearning Africa Shafika Isaacs declared.