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Open Source Curriculum for Africa

Posted by bkurshan on June 2, 2006 at 9:05 PM PDT

I have just returned from two weeks in Rwanda and Ethiopia. I was there to explore wiring Rwanda and to attend the eLearning conference in Addis Ababa. It was a fascinating and certainly eye-opening trip. In Rwanda, I had the opportunity to work with a group planning a project to wire Rwanda so that all schools and all health clinics would have connectivity. It was clear that with a wired country it would be necessary to deliver curriculum to the classroom. Here is where GELC has the opportunity to play a role. What do you think that should be? What should we deliver first? Which subject(s) and at what grade level? This project is being supported by Bono and his efforts to wipe out AIDS across Africa. It was clear that Bono wants something to happen - what should that be?

While also in Rwanda I was able to visit the Genocide Museum. It told with great sensitivity the story of the Genocide in Rwanda as well as the story of the Genocide in the last century. I suggested that the museum content needed to be digitized and curricula built around the content by the GELC community. I have already heard back from the government about making this project happen. How should we structure and fund the project?

Next we headed to the eLearning conference in Addis Ababa. There were 900 registered delegates and the sessions were varied. I again had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Education in Ethiopia as I had in Rwanda. In Ethiopia, the issue was supplying courses to 13 new universities. How can GELC help do this? And how do we create open source textbooks to the developing world?

Lots to think about and many ways to make a difference. Let's get started with some new ideas and new ways to make it happen.