Webinar on Online and Distance Learning for Teachers in Africa (ODLTA)

November 4, 2020

Education is the fundamental human right that changes the social and cultural status, as well as the political, religious and economic lives of individuals and families. For people in Africa, education is the key to unlocking the enjoyment of their fundamental rights, most notably amidst the COVID-19 pandemic when the educational process should continue even during widespread school closures. Continuity promotes the consistency of education and personal development despite circumstances that interrupt normal school attendance for students.

The global crisis has confirmed that education is not a time-sensitive and place-bound process. On the frontline of mitigating the pandemic-related education crisis, UNESCO agencies, UNESCO INRULED, IICBA and UNESCO IITE, coordinated by the UNESCO Office in Nairobi, alongside a high-profile team of partners and experts from the Smart Learning Institute of the Beijing Normal University and the Open University of China, worked out a new online course to guide teachers in Africa through the COVID-19 education plunge.

This new online course entitled Introduction to Online and Distance Learning for Teachers in Africa (ODLTA) aims to promote the use of technology-enhanced distance learning in Africa for continuing education during the global pandemic COVID-19.

To promote this online course, IICBA and its partners have organized a series of webinars.

The objectives of the webinar held on November 4th, 2020 were to:

               Ø Demonstrate the contents and features of a new online course.

               Ø Encourage stakeholders to use and promote online and distance learning during the school closure and beyond.

Ø Collect feedback on the appropriateness and feasibility of the platform.

Ø Discuss best approaches to disseminate the online course for its wide promotion among teachers throughout Africa.

Following the demonstration, participants shared their points of view about the best strategic approach for the dissemination of the course. Participants suggested to:

-         Include the course in the Global Campus for teachers

-         Promote ODLTA on national media channels

-         Conduct a first set of training sessions at national levels tentatively starting with Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe- Hold a second set of training sessions with countries covered by existing projects like the NTI, CapED, prevention of violent extremism through education (PVE), CFIT and HNA

-         Organize regional training sessions to scale the approach with other countries

-         For each session, involve UNESCO regional and national offices as well as partners like Education International (EI), ADEA, national teacher commissions, teachers’ unions, teacher training institutions and other development partners

-         Encourage teacher training institutions to consider the ODTLA certificate in the continuing professional development (CPD) accreditation

-         Collect testimonies from teachers

-         Provide symbolic rewards to a number of teachers who are the first to complete the course.

Participants and partners expressed their willingness and availability to help disseminate the course widely. IICBA will discuss internally the concrete feasibility of the proposals and is open to other suggestions for improvement.


Note: For the moment the course is in English. When a sufficient number is reached in English, a French translation will be completed.

Learn more about ODTLA at https://odl.bnu.edu.cn/