Saide, the South African Institute for Distance Education, is a non-governmental organization based in Johannesburg but conducting projects throughout South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Saide's task is to contribute to the development of new models of open and distance education practice, that accord with and take forward the values, principles, and goals of the evolving education systems in the Southern African region. It has also paid particular attention to the appropriate use of technology in education and most recently established a Kenya-based initiative, OER Africa, to promote the development and sharing of OER on the African continent.
News and Events
With the advent of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Policy for the Provision of Distance Education in South African Universities, the Council on Higher Education saw it fit to provide guidelines for institutions wishing to offer distance education. The CHE commissioned Saide to develop guidelines on how general programme accreditation requirements need to be interpreted for a distance education context and the wide variations thereof, including the effective integration of supporting ICTs. This guide, the Distance Higher Education Programmes in a Digital Era: Good Practice Guide has since been published by the CHE and is available for use to all interested providers in the country.
This latest issue of the newsletter reflects on the partnerships that we are taking forward subsequent to the launch of the project website in June as well as the progress towards systemic implementation of the project in South Africa. There is a report on the ASP Summit that took place at the University of British Columbia and a conference we attended in Nairobi on African Language and Literature in the 21st Century. We participated in a Book Dash event where expert illustrators, writers, editors and designers commit to creating openly-licensed stories in a twelve-hour workshop. We are also thrilled to list other organisations who are re-publishing or linking to our stories.
You may recall that Saide through their OER Africa Initiative recently collaborated with the University of Catalunya on the use of OER to support teacher development through distance education. As part of this process, Catalunya invited teachers interested in the use of ICTs in the classroom to participate in a 5-week MOOC. Well, there is another opportunity to participate in this MOOC starting on 27 October (but with materials available from 24 October). The materials are mostly in English but discussions will be facilitated in 7 languages, now including French.
The Broader Impact of the PHEA ETI at University of Education Winneba is now available on the Saide website. Dr Issifu Yidana, ICT in Education Head at the university made the following comment on the project
"It's been wonderful what the PHEA ETI came to do. There are many who were very pessimistic about what educational technology could do to modernize course delivery. But this has changed as a result of the VC's direct involvement. Management are ready to motivate, provide resources, free up time."
More information on the Partnership in Higher Education in Africa Educational Technology Initiative and concluding outputs is available on the project page.