Across Africa, the learning opportunities currently available to veterinary professionals remain limited to full-time residential courses for two or more years. To respond to this challenging situation, the University of Edinburgh recently organised a series of workshops held in Naivasha, Kenya and in Entebbe, Uganda. African animal health experts and practitioners were brought together along with experts in new approaches to education.
The outcome of the latest workshop held in March this year was the launch of the African Universities Veterinary E-learning Consortium (AUVEC) (pron. Ovek). AUVEC’s vision is to provide capacity building for the African animal health sector through the provision of new online learning opportunities. While this initiative provides many exciting opportunities, there are also challenges to be overcome. There is currently little or no expertise in e-learning approaches within African veterinary schools and access to the internet is often poor and expensive. The University of Edinburgh, along with the African Virtual University (AVU) based in Nairobi, will provide key support in sharing knowledge and expertise and by helping to establish the infrastructure required for the initiative. Fred Barasa is Manager in charge of Academic Programme Development and Management within the African Virtual University. While at the workshop in Entebbe, he explained to Susanna Thorp more about the role of the AVU.
Fred Barasa of the African Virtual University talks to Susanna Thorp about the need to improve internet connectivity if online learning in Africa is to be possible.
For further information contact:
The University of Edinburgh
Easter Bush Veterinary Centre
Midlothian, EH25 9RG
Fax: + 44 0131-650-7348
African Virtual University
P.O. Box 25405
Dr Fred Simiyu Barasa – Interviewee
DFID Animal Health Programme – Funder / Sponsor
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