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Distance Training in African Universities


Each year, millions of secondary schools graduated students knock at the doors of African universities. Especially in Cameroon, dozens of thousands of students are graduated in secondary schools and most of them register for the university studies. Unfortunately, the development of infrastructures and the recruitment of lecturers don’t follow the recruitment of students. This is why these universities are exponentially congested each year and the ratio of number of students per lecturer is also exponentially increasing each year. To tackle this problem some African universities try to implement distance training with more or less success. Surely, Information and Communication technologies are today an opportunity for Africa to reduce the gap of quality education compared to occidental universities. Indeed, thanks to ICT, African teachers recruited in foreign continents can easily contribute to the development of education in Africa. Unfortunately most of the time, distance learning programs start in African universities, but never graduate students on time. This is why African students are obliged to follow distance training programs developed by foreign universities. The aim of this tutorial is to vulgarize and communicate some skills required for the success of distance learning programs in African context. The proposal is based on the experience of three distance learning programs running in Cameroon in which I contributed for the implementation and I’m still member of the pedagogical team.

As educational technologies expert of the “Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)”, I’ve had the privilege to follow-up lecturers from many African universities in Cameroon and abroad, in developing distance training programs. I’ve noticed the raisons of failure of many of distance programs initiated locally. Participants of Intersol, by the end of the tutorial, should be able to develop and follow-up successfully a distance learning program in any domain in their respective universities. This tutorial has never been presented in any other event.


Presenter’s biography

Narcisse TALLA is Head of Department of Computer Science of the Higher Teacher Training College Bertoua, University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Yaounde 1 (Cameroon) and a Doctorate in Computer Science and image instrumentation from the University of Burgundy (France). He has participated as pedagogical and steering committee member of several distance learning programs, notably the Master in Telecommunications (http://gager-undere.auf-foad.org) of the National Advanced School Polytechnic (NASP) of Yaounde-Cameroon, the Master in ICT systems Security (http://gager-undere.auf-foad.org) of the NASP and the Master in Geomatics, Planning and Resource Management (http://gager-undere.auf-foad.org) of the University of Ngaoundere. He is the Deputy Director in charge of Technologies and infrastructures of the Calasanz institute of right to education (www.icalde.org) that offers a distance learning Master program in Right to Education. As expert of the “Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)”, he has conducted dozens of workshops and seminars in almost a dozen of universities in Cameroon and other countries. He is Associate Chief Editor of the online International Journal of Geomatics, Planning and Resources Management (RIGAGER), http://acager.org/index.php/revue-scientifique.

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