COL, in collaboration with the Botswana Open University (BOU) organised the Focal Points meeting for Africa and Europe on 24-25 September 2018, in Gaborone, Botswana. This network was created to strengthen the effectiveness of COL’s work in addressing key priorities for education and training in the regions and to help countries use a range of appropriate and available approaches to foster learning at scale.
Inaugurating the meeting, Botswana’s Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Ngaka Ngaka, expressed appreciation to COL for supporting the education sector in Botswana and in Africa. He noted that students from his country had benefited from COL’s initiatives, such as the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) and the Commonwealth Executive MBA/MPA programme.
COL’s President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar, stressed the important role that Focal Points play as advocates for open and distance learning (ODL) and in sharing information on COL in their respective countries. “If we need to increase the number of qualified teachers, have more children complete 12 years of schooling and increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio in tertiary education, we need innovative approaches and that is where COL has a role,” she said.
BOU’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Daniel Tau, expressed appreciation to Honourable Ngaka and Professor Kanwar for their constant encouragement. He said that the meeting would strengthen the network of Commonwealth countries and assured COL of BOU’s support.
The Focal Points from 14 African and European Commonwealth countries participated. On this occasion, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between COL and BOU to support the Southern African Development Community – Centre for Distance Education (SADC-CDE) as a centre of expertise in ODL in the region.
PHOTO: Participants at the meeting (Credit: Botswana Open University).