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Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)

The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4) was held in Ochos Rios, Jamaica from 30 October – 3 November 2006, in partnership with the Caribbean Consortium comprising of CARADOL, JADOL, TTDLA, CEODL and UWIDEC. PCF4 attracted more than 500 people from 64 countries and various international organisations.

A summary description of PCF4 appears in the February 2007 edition of COL’s newsletter, Connections.


Achieving Development Goals


  • Collaboration
  • Foundations
  • Innovation
  • Learning



Asa Briggs Lecture

Mr Winston A. Cox, Alternate Executive Director for the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, Inter-American Development Bank

Keynote Speakers

Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning

Professor Penina Mlama, Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), member of COL’s Board of Governors, Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

Dr Sugata Mitra, Senior Vice President (R&D), NIIT Limited, India

Honorary Fellows

  • Dr Felicity Binns
  • Dato’ Dr Gajaraj Dhanarajan
  • The Honourable Zobaida Jalal
  • Father T.V. Kunnunkal
  • The Honourable Fiamé Naomi Mata’afa
  • HE Professor Michael Omolewa
  • The Honourable Burchell Whiteman

Winners of the Excellence in Distance Education Awards (2005-2006)

Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement

  • The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
  • Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning, Botswana
  • Netaji Subhas Open University, India

Award of Excellence for Open and Distance Education Materials

Category A: print or other “low-end” media materials.

  • Advanced Certificate in Education in the Field of Learners with Special Educational Needs – School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Learning Skills for Open and Distance Learners – Open University Malaysia.
  • A Facilitation Handbook for Women’s Learning Group Facilitators – Women in Fishing Industry Project (WIFIP), Education and Development Trust, Kenya.

Honourable Mention: Environmental Education Modules – Centre for Environmental Education, India

Category B: interactive, electronically delivered materials.

  • PharmaLearn, Anticoagulation – Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • NAMCOL Online, Welcome to the World of Physical Science Grade 12 – Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL)
  • Indigenous Approaches to Healing and Helping – School of Social Work, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Honourable Mention: French as a Second Language – Alberta Distance Learning Centre, Canada

Award Recognising Distance Learning Experience

Category A: Degree Granting Programme

  • Ms. Neelam Narayan, Suva, Fiji (The University of the South Pacific)

Category B: eLearning Experience in Difficult Circumstances

  • Ms. Najwa Qaisy, DM Manager, Iraq Deligation, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Baghdad, Iraq)

Honourable Mentions:

  • Dr. Bernardino Pereira Teixeira, Leprosy Programme Officer, World Health Organization (Luanda, Angola)
  • Dr. Pingping Zhang, National Programme Officer, World Health Organization (Beijing, China)

Forum Partners

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Athabasca University
  • Cable and Wireless
  • Cambridge College
  • Caribbean Development Bank
  • Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU
  • FLOS Caribbean
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs & Sports, Barbados
  • Smart Technologies
  • The Open University of Hong Kong
  • UNDP, Barbados
  • Universal Basic Education Council
  • University of London
  • Wawasan Open University College, Malaysia
  • World Intellectual Property Organization