Moeketsi Letseka, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) chair on open distance learning has stated that contrary to many views COVID-19 actually enhanced learning in Africa.
Letseka, who spoke as a guest panellist at the Africa Business Conference 2022- Africa Recovery organised by BusinessDay Media Limited at the Grand Ballroom, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he disclosed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNESCO open distance learning centres in Africa was recording about 600 students on physical contact learning as against 1,500 delegates on virtual learning approach.
“COVID-19 pushed us into a corner where whether we like it or not we have to be more innovative by embracing technology to thrive. This way we become better and more innovative,” he said.
According to Letseka the UNESCO open distance learning excel centres were recording a low turnout compared to a massive record of delegates gotten with the online learning approach.
“Our online learning has given us a more robust and innovative system of learning. We are getting people in thousands unlike what it used to be,” Letseka said.
The UNESCO African boss, however, regretted that Africans are not being visible enough as it concerns their technological and innovativeness in the education sector.
He believed that the BusinessDay organised Africa Conference 2022 is one of the channels to make Africa more visible. The renowned scholar and lecturer noted that Africa have been making many technological innovative contributions in a meaningful which are not really made visible via the media reportage. He stated that the continent need more robust media outreach to make its identity to be really visible.
As a lecturer, Letseka said that UNISA is celebrating its 150 years of reaching students wherever they are. And this is made possible in Africa through education technology and innovations.
UNISA is Africa’s leading open distance learning institution that offers internationally accredited qualifications and has world-class resources that inspire learners to create meaningful futures on their own terms.
Letseka explained UNESCO open distance learning as a mode of education in which students enrolled in a course do not attend the institution, but study off-campus and may submit assignments by mail or email.
He urged the continent’s umpires in the education sector to be more visible because Africa is part and parcel of the Information and Communication Technology global community.