Most African countries have embraced technology in education, according to the eLearning Africa 2012 report, the most decent and detailed attempt at providing a snapshot of how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and better connectivity are believed to be changing the face of education in Africa.
It can be generally agreed that Distance Learning can increase the number of people in education in Africa, however adding Online delivery methods can further widen the number of people that can be reached across the continent.
However, there are so many challenges on the path of creating this access. The biggest obstacle to e-learning in Africa is really bandwidth. There has been a significant increase in the number of bandwidth providers, under sea cable provider and satellite systems provider, but there are still obstacles with unstable electricity supply, lack of computer equipment, internet access at schools and most importantly a shift in policy paradigm to support the growth of Open and Distance Learning and Online Learning. These practical problems should be solved first.
As earlier mentioned, there are still difficulties to overcome if online education is to spread further in Africa. Many students do face some difficulties accessing course materials online, gaining the trust of online institutions mainly due to policy constraints.
Many countries in Africa, including Zambia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and South Africa, are running school connectivity projects in a bid to promote e-learning. Policy makers in many African countries are hoping that ICT will improve the quality of education in the region. There has a been significant adoption of online learning policies by Education Departments in countries like Tanzania, South Africa and Rwanda.
The question that remains is; When will West Africa join this growing global trend?
If you have any answers, theories or opinions, we would love to hear them here below