Out of Africa: e-learning makes further education a reality for tens of thousands

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Out of Africa: e-learning makes further education a reality for tens of thousands

As the eLearning Africa conference gets underway in Addis Ababa, there is a growing recognition that online courses can boost further education access.
Zuhur Yasin has never been to the US, but she holds a bachelor’s degree from an American university. Part of Yasin’s studies in Somaliland, a self-declared independent country in Somalia, were spent in a special classroom, lined with rows of computers equipped with webcams and microphones.

The 29-year-old watched videos and took part in live virtual classes at Indiana University as part of her journalism programme at the University of Hargeisa. “We had discussions and shared any challenges or questions,” she says.

The African Virtual University (AVU), an intergovernmental organisation, connected Yasin with Indiana University. The AVU says it has used virtual learning to train 43,000 students since its creation in 1997. Last year, it announced 29 new distance learning centres like the one Yasmin used to take part in seminars nearly 8,000 miles away.

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