By Joseph Erunke
The University of Abuja has been selected as one of the six centres of competence in digital education in African universities.
The other universities are the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania; Moi University, Moi, Kenya; Kabale University, Kabale, Uganda; École Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications, Dakar, Senegal and Université Nangui Abrogoua, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
A statement, Wednesday, by Dr. Habib Yakoob, Head, Information and University Relations, explained that: “The selection of the universities was announced by EXAF (Excellence in Africa Research Centre)-EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne) as part of the joint EPFL-UM6P (Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique) initiative in Excellence in Africa.”
“All the six universities were selected from 20 shortlisted applications evaluated by experts from the Association of African Universities (AAU), EPFL, and UM6P,” it explained.
According to the statement, “The universities’ transition to digital education, including the sustainable integration of digital tools and technologies as well as the adoption of new pedagogical approaches, requires upskilling.”
It read further: “The creation of the C-CoDEs, which combine these pedagogical and technological competences, will accompany these universities in their digital transition and ultimately have a broader impact at the national and regional level,” said Yann Kerloch, Communication Manager for Excellence in Africa, EPFL.
“In 2021 and 2022, the project will develop “hardware” and “software” as well as construct studio with multimedia equipment and IT infrastructure necessary to produce online courses (MOOC – Massive Open Online courses).
“Furthermore, Technicians from each of the six universities will be trained to operate the production studios. Training in digital education will also be provided to resident experts in instructional design as well as a few dozen professors. With a wide range of digital technologies, this training in digital education will be delivered using MOOCs and personalised remote coaching by digital education experts.
“The training programme will put theory into practice by focusing on the transformation of existing face-to-face courses into online ones, and enable the
assimilation of pedagogical tools and practices to teach using digital technology.
“Courses would also be developed and made available to the entire community of learners, thereby making it possible for learning strategies, lesson plans and examples of the curriculum will be reviewed from a digital perspective.
“The implementation of the C-CoDEs, together with the training, will contribute to the sustainable integration of digital education and technologies in the instruction provided at each partner university, which should ultimately lead to the pooling of teaching between the universities.”