Educating Africa, Virtually


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced a grant to fund online education efforts in Africa. The $900,000 grant will support the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa consortium, which is working to develop an online portal that will offer a broad array of educational materials from institutions such as MIT, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Chinese Open Resources for Education. According to Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo, rector of the African Virtual University, which is part of the consortium, Africa is in great need of math and science teachers, and the new portal will be used in "teach the teacher" programs to educate new instructors in sub-Saharan Africa. The online resources will not be limited to teachers, however. Beginning in Tanzania and South Africa and spreading to other African countries, the portal will be openly available to anyone with Internet access. Dzvimbo said he hopes that eventually teachers in Africa will join the online efforts alongside the professors and students in the United States who will be initially involved.

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