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State to set up open and e-learning university

EDUCATION
By Jeckonia Otieno | July 8th 2016
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i

The Government will set up a national open university in collaboration with the African Virtual University (AVU).

A statement read on behalf of Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i during the official opening of the Third International Conference of the African Virtual University Thursday, stated that the Government believed open and distance e-learning were key to increasing access to tertiary education in the contemporary world.

"The Government therefore believes that open, distance and e-learning, and emerging technologies like mobile learning can play a critical role in solving the issues of not just low tertiary education participation but also issues of gender and equity in education and training in helping admit a backlog of students seeking to join tertiary institutions," Dr Matiang'i said.

Absorption of students has been a major headache for the Government even as the number of students admitted to institutions of higher learning increasing.

The Government expects to use open and distance learning as one of the ways to solve this problem.

"Although the number of university and tertiary institutions in Kenya has doubled over the past decade, the number of students seeking to join tertiary institutions has increased at a faster rate. Universities in Kenya have been unable to enrol all qualified school leavers," Matiang'i added.

AVU, is a pan African international organisation mandated to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through ICT.

Speaking to the Press after the official opening, AVU Rector Bakary Diallo said investing in open distance learning would help African nations ensure that more people get higher education.

"We have to look forward, not backward and ours is to enlighten governments about online learning. We work within policy briefs in order to advice on new trends including informal learning," said Dr Diallo.

The conference brings together policy makers and researchers.

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