TeleEducation Initiatives for Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of The African Virtual University in Kenya

DerKirra Wilkerson, Lakisha Simmons, Victor Mbarika, Carlos Thomas

Abstract


Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lags behind the rest of the world in education. Less than 25 percent of qualified high school graduates in this region will make it to the university level, mainly because most countries within the region have less than three universities. Furthermore, alternatives to universities such as two year colleges and training programs are usually concentrated in urban areas away from the rural population. Hence, as reported in Global Education Digest (2006), one out of every 16 students from the SSA region goes abroad for college. In addition, the lack of access to books, libraries and up-to-date classroom materials presents a dire situation for post-secondary education systems in SSA. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is responsible for many fatalities among schoolteachers. Current World Health Organization (WHO) reports show the SSA region accounts for a dreadful 65 percent of total HIV/AIDS cases in the world. These statistics are noteworthy because those mostly infected with HIV/AIDS are in the working age groups of the education sector in SSA. The unmet need for antiretroviral treatment in the region coupled with lack a of access to health care cultivates the bleak situation. Such a frightening predicament calls for academic research strategies to address the education dilemma in SSA countries such as Kenya. TeleEducation through its efficient multidimensional strategies has made some commendable advances in approaching this dilemma. In this study we investigate the case of a wide spread TeleEducation initiative in Kenya, the African Virtual University.

Keywords


TeleEducation, African Virtual University, Kenya, Distance Learning Technology, Sub-Saharan Africa

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284