Demystifying Distance Education – A Way to Meet Africa’s Training Challenges

Distance Education in AfricaCurrently, Africa holds a lot of opportunities for growth and development. Thou the continent lag behind in many areas of general economic growth. All that’s needed is the injection of different catalysts that would accelerate the desired growth drivers.The continents population has increased rapidly and this should be one of the advantage growth drivers. Yet in many cases this is not the case because the same population lacks (in a large extent) quality training.Many governments put much emphasis on education, and also spend a large part of their budgets on education programs. As is the case in Kenya on the East African coast, hundreds of thousands of young people will go through free primary education then advance to secondary (high school).After high school many qualify to proceed to institutions of higher learning, but lack admission opportunities because of the limited space in the local institutions of higher learning.The country needs development opening to be able to create jobs and advancement. For development to take place there needs to be quality training chances for the people who in turn drive the development agenda.Th current statistic show, out of an average of 200,000 students graduate annually from high school in Kenya, only between 11-12,000 are admitted into universities locally.This leaves a very large number with little openings to pursue higher education training.Distance Education has not been fully embraced, although there has been correspondences providers in the region for a long time. The biggest challenge being the perceived thinking, education is meant only to be conducted in the traditional class.The need to create a platform to help ‘Demystify Distance Education’ lies paramount to any endeavor to tap into this training method that as worked successfully in other regions.In the desire to ‘bridge the digital divide’, available technology must be used to further this. It is a fact that the cost of Information, Communication and Technology components in the region has reduce drastically.With the government playing its part in the following areas:Zero rating taxes for hardware imported in to the country, working and introducing fiber optical linkages all over the country, Opening up communication provision to many players thus increasing competition and lowering prices further. Setting up and encouraging e-learning developmentDemystifying distance Education needs to answer such questions as:How does Distance Learning work and delivered? Accreditation and quality of training information The different forms of Distance Education available What courses are available through distance learningDistance Learning needs to be established as a viable training product for both career entry and advancement training.Many parents and guardians need to be educated and informed on the many advantages of Distance EducationDistance Education from global players will bring to the region quality market driven training opportunities that will supplement what the local higher education training institutes are doing.Distance Education is one avenue to inject the need training to Thousand of people and push Africa and Kenya towards the government planned vision 2030.The improvement of a country’s human resource capacity for productivity is a pre-requisite for social and economic development.Formal and non-formal education are essential for improving food security and rural employment and reducing poverty, education is needed for the production of skilled manpower to serve in all sectors through extension, research, entrepreneurship and commerce.With limited training avenue for higher education, Distance education is one key avenue that will help to fill this training gap.Africa’s developmental challenges will only be met when it’s populace acquire specilised industry training to provide skilled labour and enterprise creation.Distance Education with global providers from the more developed training institutes is the way to go.Demystifying Distance Education in Africa is the way to go, to help open up training opportunities for both rural and urban people in need of further training.