The African Virtual University (AVU) launched the interactive Open Education Resources portal OER@AVU in January this year. The portal can be accessed at http://oer.avu.org and contains quality resources developed together with twelve universities in ten African countries. The resources are released under the Creative Commons open licence. Through the portal, AVU will enable academics throughout the African Continent and beyond to share, distribute and disseminate their resources globally and thus contribute towards Africa’s economic development through education.
The resources available at http://oer.avu.org are free to use and institutions and individuals can access the materials, use and modify them and return them in order to help enrich the portal. They can also contribute their own resources. This initiative has been funded by the African Development Bank.
The newly launched interactive portal will host 219 high-quality modules in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, ICT in Education as well as Teacher Education Professional Courses in three different languages – English, French and Portuguese.
Through the available resources, AVU is attempting to address the issue of accessing quality content, which is one of the barriers to high-quality education in Africa. The portal is accessible from anywhere in the world.
“We can proudly say that Africa is now contributing to global knowledge,” said AVU’s Rector Dr. Bakary Diallo.
AVU is the leading pan-African eLearning network and one of its strategic objectives is to increase access to high-quality Open, Distance and eLearning resources that are relevant to Africa. The interactive portal (http://oer.avu.org) is therefore another cornerstone of AVU’s substantial commitment to open education and represents an investment in ongoing efforts to create a shared body of open educational resources. Furthermore, on October 25th, 2010, AVU pledged $25,000 over the next five years to support the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW), the non-profit association of global OpenCourseWare supporters.
Founded in 1997, the African Virtual University (AVU) is a pan-African intergovernmental organisation whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of Information and Communications Technologies.
Some 40,000 students across Africa have graduated from AVU. The university has established the largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions in over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. In Somalia, 4,000 students have graduated from AVU, 30 percent of whom are women. AVU is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with a regional office in Dakar, Senegal.
February 15, 2011