donderdag 4 juli 2013

Impressions of eLearning Africa 2013, Windhoek Namibia

29th -31st May the eLearning Africa conference 2013 was held in Windhoek Namibia in the Safari Conference Centre. The eLearning 2013 report (English) is also out (also in French)

These are my impressions of the event.



On the 29th May I attended two pre-conference sessions. In the morning a session World-Class Skills Through Technology for Change and Innovation  led my Microsoft with the buzzwords 21st century skills, professional teacher development, student centred pedagogy. First I thought it was really focusing on Microsoft products. And of course it is a company that wants to make money, but the presentations were about more than Microsoft skills. It encourage students and teachers to think critically and creatively beyond just reproduction. 21st century skills: Way of thinking, Way of working, tools for working and ways of living in the world. 

But if you support the development of humans to a higher education level, they will reach mostly a higher income and will become consumers. So Microsoft does see this as a long term investment to increased the skill level op people in developing countries. During the session Microsoft told more about the different programmes they have in Africa within Education. For example Microsoft4Africa: improving africa’s competitiveness through strategic partnerships (building capacity, increasing access and innovation), Microsoft IT Academy, a life long learning model to bridge skill gap between education and todays technology centered job market. It provides trainings, curriculum, certification, linkages/partnerships and resources to educational institutes. Partners in Learning. With lots of resources for students and educators presented by Phil Oduor, Project Badiliko a collaboration of British Council and Microsoft. Project Badiliko builds digital hubs at schools and community centres across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria and provides a cascade model of professional development for teachers and school leaders.  Agile EMIS (James Curry, ( was a presentation from a Microsoft partner about educational management information systems. The EMIS is implemented in Uganda on large scale at school level (PC, smart phone or mobile (attendance collection), district and national level for Ministry of Education.

In the afternoon I followed a practical workshop A Practical Introduction to OER4Schools: Supporting Interactive Teaching of Mathematics and Science a collaboration of Chalimbana Basic School, Zambia and University of Cambridge, UK (Abel Makonga, Chalimbana Basic School, Zambia and Bjoern Hassler, University of Cambridge, UK.


 The official opening of the conference The Ghanaian blogger Mac-Jordan Degadjor (@MacJordaN) as representative of the African Youth was most impressive.

a solar container at exhibition

I follow him already for years and had the opportunity to meet him in person. Theme of the opening was: Learning and Innovation: In the Cloud and on the Ground with a Spirit of Ubuntu.

Next morning during the plenary Towards an (Upwardly) Mobile Africa? The speech of Donald Clark, Is Mobile the New Pen and Pencil?  was thought provoking. Tablets are useless unless with keyboard, mobile learning is gps for learning. Attention span of youth only 7 seconds! 

The presentation of Monica Weber of the Worldbank gave also some interesting insights. Especially about urbanization. “Should we invest in poor urban areas were most of the people will live or in rural areas were population is scarce?”. She gave also in three slides recommendations for eLearning in relation to poverty, prosperity and environment

The Next parallel session that I followed was about Developing the ICT Competencies of African

Teachers. Especially the presentation of Esther Wamuyu Gacicio, Kenya Institute of Education, Kenya “Moving Teachers’ Competencies in Curriculum Delivery to the 21st Century Learning: Kenyan Perspective” was interesting. Potential partner for the Kenya programme. In the afternoon I also had a demonstration of their content by Ruben.

Late afternoon was my own session: eLearning in Medical Education. I presented a project we had done in Malawi: “Online renewal of licenses for nurses in Malawi

The other two presentations about a medical school in Tanzania (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Medical Education Partnership Initiative (KCMC-MEPI). Dativa Tibyampansha a Learning Management System specialist) and how they use eLearning for the education of medical students and an eLearning system for nurses from University of Malawi, Kamuzu College of Nursing (Gladys Msika  head for the Medical –Surgical Nursing Department  in collaboration with University of Edinburgh

After the presentation a very interesting and a lively session with lots of questions followed. 

Fridays plenary session was about Education Renewal Through eLearning, MOOCs and Mother Tongue. One inspirational speech about use of social media in education from Prof Dr Johannes Cronje, Professor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa “Doing IT for Free. Reflections on Open Courseware, Open Access and Open Learning” and a thought provoking from Prof Kwesi Kwaa Prah, Director of the Africa-wide Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS), South Africa “The Language Factor in the Integration of ICTs in African Education, Training and Development” were he asked all African why they do not create content and applications in their own local languages.

The last session I attended was disappointing. Going to Scale and Going Local with Laptops, eReaders and Tablets especially the session of Chi Jin, UNESCO Inruled, China New Media and Women’s Leadership:Pilot and Practices in China because of her presentation skills “death by powerpoint” with long stories on the slide that she read to the audience.









donderdag 7 februari 2013

Reflection: Connect for Change Ghana Education Partners meet in Tamale

The workshop is a ICT4D Learning Workshop that brought together project partners working in Education with IICD and Edukans under the Connect4Change programme in Ghana.  It aimed at enabling Connect4Change as well as the project partners to learn and benefit from the experiences gained at the various project implementation and share knowledge. This blog is based on the GINKS ICT4D stories at

maandag 3 december 2012

Visit to Connect4Change Health Prgramme Ghana in November 2012

From 8-10 November 2012 Paula Mommers (Cordaid) and Martine Koopman (IICD) visited the Connect4Change Health Programme in the field. Under the Connect4Change Health Programme we support three programmes: PART ME by SEND Foundation, ACDEP 's ICT in Healthcare delivery and CHAG's Using ICT to imrove access and efficiency. We visited on 6th and 7th November the offices of the three programmes in Accra and Tamale, but to see what has happened on the ground we had to make a trip through rural Northern Ghana in three days

The first project to visit is PART ME of Send Foundation. This innovative project for participatory monitoring and evaluation (PartMe) is an ICT for development project that uses technology to facilitate data collection and information dissemination between SEND-Ghana, its grassroots partners and policy makers on the NHIS  and other pro-poor policies.

We visited on 8th November the Savelugu District Citizen's Monitoring Committee, one of the 50 DCMC's with which SEND Foundation has initiated to monitor at grassroot level the pro-poor policies like access to National Health Insurance, Spending of funds under the Common Fund and effectiveness of free maternal care. 

Each DCMC conducts of 11 representatives of Civil Society to give the poor a voice. 

Next stop was a project under ACDEP's Community health Care project. We visited the Catholic Family Reproductive Health Project in WaleWale were they visit communities with their mobile cinema to share information about family planning and reproductive health issues. They also are actively involved in the mobile reproductive health project to provide peer educators in schools from information via sms to share with their peers.


Third stop of the day was at Wiaga. At St Lucas clinic, Andy the ICT focal person showed us the progress in the implementation of the Hospital Management Information System HAMS.

After an overnight stop at Bolgatanga we left early for a visit of the Bawku Nursing Training College at Bawku part of the CHAG Connect4Change programme.

In the week before our visit, the school had suffered a fire in the computerlab. The principal explained what has happened in the video.'

After the visit to Bawku we went to the ACDEP supported clinic at Garu. The ICT programme has a focus on Reproductive Health and improving communication with Traditional Birth attendance to improve maternal care in rural Ghana. The team at the clinic is also looking into using ICT to improve the data collection and information management at the clinic. One of the staff has developed a small database to trace paper patient records easily in the archive when patients forgot thei id card. With name and community they are able to trace the NHIS number to trace the folder. This avoids double patient records, but they hope to move to an electronic patient record in 2013.

From Garu we had a very bad road via Napkanduri over the escarpent, Bunkperugu and after crossing a river before Chereponi our ventilator blade broke off and punctured the radiotor. Our driver was able to temporary fix it with soap to reach the next town.

The next morning there was also no breakfast. The girl who would prepare it was at the hospital and the boy who was cleaning thought it was not his task. But the price of € 5 for a room shows the lack of service as well (what else to expect for such a cheap room).

The car still needed to be fixed, so we cancelled our visit to Salaga and had one more visit at the Saboba hospital, a CHAG supported project where Mark showed us around. There was no power (in the whole of Northern Ghana that day!) so we spoke to all staff at the Out Patient department where all departments (records room, cash office, consultant, lab, pharmacy) are already using the HMIS and the In patient ward don't use the HMIS yet, but they already use the PC's to watch videos for example at the children's ward they watch cases of asthma and meningitis to update their knowledge.

All together a very useful overview of the progress made since my last visit a year ago. 

Visit in July 2012 with Edukans to Connect4Change Education Programme in Ghana

In July 2012 Miet Chielens, Herman Kruijer (both Edukans) and Martine Koopman (IICD) visited several educational projects of the Connect4Change Educational Programme. Several short videos were shot with interviews of the school (head)teachers to show the impact of ICT at the schools. The implementation of the programme has started earlier this year. Visits were made to the Vocational School projects implemented by Peps-C and 4 vocational schools in the Upper West of Ghana

From kaleo, we had a drive to Bolgatanga were we visited the Presbyterian Education Unit in Bolgatanga. We visited with them two of their schools that Connect4Change is supporting. One in Bolgatanga

and one in Gambaga.

The last project that we visited was the Yoo JHS in Savelugu. We were lucky because it was also the launch of the HIV/AIDS club at the school and we started the visit with a play from the HIV/AIDS club for the whole school. Afterwards we went to the ICT lab to talk with the (head) teacher and implementing partner Savana Signatures.

After the discussion the teachers showed us their work on the computer, which was impressive after only two weeks training.

dinsdag 2 oktober 2012

Good Medical Resources and links

Listed below is a selection of Internet-based health and medical resources arranged according to subject or type of resource. If you consider any of these worthy of your Favorites file, the quickest way would be accessing online this issue of Africa Health (, identifying this article and clicking and adding each link you wish to keep in your Favorites file, or alternatively, adding the whole article. This will save typing out each URL from the print issue.


Essential Health Links -

Hinari -

Africa (Stanford University) -

Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine -


Pubmed -

Popline -

Cochrane Library -

Reproductive Health Library -

WHO Global Health Library -

TRIP Evidence -

Google Scholar -


HIFA2015 -

CHILD2015 -

Afro-Nets -


Hinari -

Pubmed Central -

FreeMedicalJournals -

Highwire -

BMJ Journals -

Directory of Open-Access Journals -

BioMedCentral Journals -

FreeBooks4Doctors -

Hesperian Health Guides -

WHO Statistics -

Demographic & Health Surveys -



Epidemiology Supercourse -

International Guideline Library -

WHO Guidelines -

MSF Clinical Guidelines -

Health Sciences Online -

African Open Education -



Child Health


Infectious Diseases

Mental Health

Public Health

Reproductive/Sexual Health


maandag 4 juni 2012

Kanvili Junior High: Girls and ICT

During the holidays the girls of Kanvili Junior High in Tamale, Northern Ghana still attend the school to have a place to chat with each other. They talk about how important computers are and what they like about it.

vrijdag 24 februari 2012

St Basilide Vocational School

The St Basilide Vocational School in Kaleo, Upper West Ghana is using ICT since 2011. They have received 20 computers from GIFEC, but no full time ICT teacher. A JICA volunteer (from Japan) who barely speaks English teaches the students in basic ICT, but she does not have time to teach the teachers as well. Peps-C will support the school to integrate ICT in their classrooms both in the main subjects (Carpentry & Joinery, Plumbing&Welding, Electrical Installation and Building& Construction, but also in general subject under the Ghana Education Service. The school has 454 students, with only 24 girls. The computer is used also in administration, but not networked and without internet access. In the next yearteachers and administrators should be able to improve their skills into teaching&learning and school administration.