The Zambian Open University (ZAOU) expects to increase its student intake twofold in 2017 after it entered into a partnership with eLearnAfrica for its courses and degree programs to be made available on the platform.
ZAOU has a student population of 3000 for 2016. eLearnAfrica.com is a mobile application and portal launched in November that offers open education for Africans. The site has says it has recorded 385,000 visitors since it launched.
Professor Olusegun Adedayo Yerokun, Acting Vice Chancellor of ZAOU says even more Africans will gain access to the university's distance and face-to-face degree programs in Agricultural Sciences, Law, Education and more on the eLearnAfrica platform following the deal they concluded this week.
"Our collaboration with eLearnAfrica will ensure more extensive access to our comprehensive courses and degree programs for the sustainable development of human capital in Zambia and beyond. We realised when we enrolled our first students in 2005 that demand could not be met through traditional methods of education. However, education can be brought to doorsteps, and now handsets, through new, flexible methods and approaches. We look forward to being able to distribute our best content throughout Africa on eLearnAfrica."
ZAOU says it expects to hit a target of 6000 students next year as a result of the decision to join the eLearnAfrica platform. The surge in numbers, according to the university come from the ever-growing demand for higher education in Zambia which is is far from being satisfied.
"With more than 50,000 pupils about to complete secondary school this year, the influx of hopeful students has grown beyond the capacity of historical higher learning resources," informed the University in a statement on its website.
Brook Negussie, CEO of eLearnAfrica says eLearn Africa's mission is to make learning opportunities available to everyone and the partnership with ZAOU will help them in their attempt to achieve that goal.
"We understand that it's challenging to find trusted content on the internet if you aren't sure what you are searching for. Our platform was created to help Africans find courses, degree programmes and vocational skills courses for all educational levels from trusted third-party providers. It's great that we are able to offer African content to students throughout the continent. We also help collaboratively create content by providing rich analysis and data to Universities and academic institutions on the portal for them to best meet the demands of their prospective learners"
eLearnAfrica has also partnered with other well known universities to provide online courses including 'edX', the Open University founded by Harvard University and MIT on the portal and mobile app. edX offers hundreds of courses from institutions, such as Wharton Business School, the University of California, Berkeley and more.
In another e-learning partnership announced this week, Samsung Electronics East Africa has announced a partnered with e-learning solutions provider Virtual Essence which will see it help to deliver digital content to some of Kenya's primary school learners.
The company revealed that its Galaxy Tab A 7" tablet will be loaded with a pack that contains eLearning content including mathematics, English and Swahili. The Initiative will run alongside the Kenyan government's Digital Literacy Programme which aims to equip 23,951 local public primary schools with more than 1.2 million devices by the end of 2016.