A Novel Learning Environment:Case Study Of The Pan African E-Network Project


Silima NANDA
Ashlesh SAXENA


ABSTRACT
The constructivist form of learning creates such an environment where the learners are not only active but they become actors’ i.e members and contributors of the social and information space without taking into consideration the geographic boundaries. Such an innovative form of distance education was initiated in India in the year 2007 and it was meant to be offered as cross-border tele-education to the states of the African Union. The objective was two-fold: first to benefit the disadvantaged African learners who missed out opportunities to attend regular universities and earn degrees or seek employment. Secondly it was to promote the educational service of India under the umbrella of GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) which was operational since 1996. Initiatives were taken by the Government of India and the African Union to boost the usage of the available resources in IT, medical sciences etc. for the growth of the people of the African countries so that they could compete with the rest of the world. African learners can access higher education with the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which is considered to be the demand of the coming generation. The tele-education concept employs sophisticated technology, state of the art studio and the best of the class facility. The mode of this tele-education is made feasible through a virtual platform where education is imparted through a two way audio and two way video communications spreading over multiple countries of Africa in a single session. This paper is in attempt to describe this innovative form of virtual education and look into its impact on the African learning community. The general feedback is that the students have been greatly benefitted and the demand for such form of education has also increased multi fold with the students’ enrolment having increased manifold, especially for the management programme.


KEYWORDS: Cross-border Tele-education, African Union, Virtual, Learning Community.

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