BY FRANCIS ONTOMWA
Information technology is playing a critical role in the globalisation of education, an educationist has said.
David Wood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International of Curtin University, said even universities in developing countries are using digitisation to make education more accessible.
Prof Wood spoke during a public lecture themed ‘The Changing Face of Education,’ at the University of Nairobi, attended by university students, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) officials, Institute of Curriculum Development as well as secondary and tertiary educators.
Wood emphasised the internationalisation of education and how universities in developing countries are using this to propel their GDP.
“We are living in a competitive period of nation building. The wealth of countries today is measured by the United Nations index of people’s wellbeing, including healthcare and education.”
He continued : “Internationalisation of education is increasingly being used to drive the wealth of countries. An example is during the global financial crisis when the UK and United States used this strategy to help boost their economies.”
He said IT tools have helped in giving more personalised attention to students in that they use small groups consuming material online.
“In addition, the web courses are programmed to assess the students every ten minutes, which is equivalent to an adult’s attention span,” he said.
Commenting on quality assurance in provision of education, Wood said: “There are companies that can be used to check the quality of courses being offered by institutions. In Australia for example, TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality Assurance) and Edu Trust in Singapore, are organisations which undertake rigorous quality assurance of programmes on offer.”
He said these bodies check the course content of education institutions and ensure that they are of high standards wherever the courses are presented.