Online Educational Resources in Africa

Today, Amanda Coolidge (British Columbia Institute of Technology) joins us and talks about what’s happening with Open Educational Resources (OER) in Africa. Down the line, she’ll be blogging about OER in other parts of the world as well. Take it away Amanda.

Over 500,000 Nigerian teachers need teacher training and you can bet this is going to be a challenge. Africa is working toward the UN Millennium goal of free education for all by 2010. Still, teachers and students across Africa need resources in and outside of the classroom and, like anywhere else in the world, they need resources developed in the context of their own environment and culture.

The good news is that one of the world’s most comprehensive open educational resource repositories in teacher education is called “TESSA: Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa”. TESSA has produced a large bank of materials directly aimed at enhancing and improving access to, and the quality of, local school-based education and training for teachers. These materials (including audio and other media) are modular in format. They focus on classroom practice in the areas of literacy, numeracy, science, social studies and the arts, and life skills. All the materials are available through this website in a variety of different formats and in 5 different languages.

Since TESSA was launched in June 2008, the response from the Open Resource community globally has been gratifyingly positive.

“The TESSA materials are easily located in the environment around us without having to travel long distances at high cost”
Teacher, Tanzania

“perhaps the most successful of all the OER projects we have heard about”
Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning

Amanda Coolidge is currently Educational Technologist at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, BC. She was previously with the Open University UK and BBC based in Kenya.

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