Invitation to join the Webinar on Wednesday, 3rd of June, 2-4pm (Johannesburg time zone).
DIGI-Face and CERM-ESA participate in the discussion:
Invitation to join the Webinar on Wednesday, 3rd of June, 2-4pm (Johannesburg time zone).
By Gillian McAinsh, Port Elizabeth
An international project kicks off this week at Nelson Mandela University to develop and put into action digital learning strategies across Africa.
The Digital Initiatives for African Centres of Excellence – or Digi-Face – aspires to open up educational access by linking geographically separate participants with user-friendly tools and technology.
The kick-off meeting from March 3-6 in Port Elizabeth has drawn delegates from universities in Niger, Senegal, Kenya, Mali and other African countries as well as Germany.
Prof Dr Ewald Eisenberg, representing project lead partner Kehl University in Germany, said the plan was to roll out Digi-Face over the entire continent.
“Sometimes there are thousands of kilometres between a supervisor and student, which makes learning complicated. There also may be unrest, or difficulties with travel,” Eisenberg said.
He listed e-learning (electronic) and m-learning (on a mobile device) as well as blended learning (a combination of traditional and digital) as possible solutions to the challenges of education in Africa.
“Blended learning is the most useful because we can adapt the various learning scenarios to what people really need,“ Eisenberg said.
However, despite high demand and motivation for e-learning, a Kehl University survey showed that very few African universities were able to access this due to lack of basic equipment and a stable internet connection.
This gap has to be bridged because, as Mandela University Learning and Teaching deputy vice-chancellor Prof Cheryl Foxcroft noted at the conference, “increasingly, if students cannot learn in digital spaces then we are not doing our job”.
Project Leader of the East and South African German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management Prof Paul Webb, also based at Mandela University, said it was important to build capacity in Africa so that all its universities could use the relevant tools.
“Our role is also to train trainers on aspects of using apparatus and digital assets provided by the project within their own areas of expertise,” Webb said. “We want to make life easier, not more difficult. And no matter what we do digitally, it depends on the content, in other words, it depends on human beings!”
German academic Prof Bernd Siebenhuener from Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg said Digi-Face would offer a variety of modules across five areas or “work packages”.
“The idea is to develop skills for everyone at the universities, not only the IT people, and that is why we will offer a range of courses. Digi-Face is for everyone,” Siebenhuener said.
Although Digi-Face has an open-source policy where access to resources is free, this week’s conference also is looking at how to generate revenue to ensure sustainability.
The German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) – with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office – is the sponsor of Digi-Face, and Mandela University is one of the leading drivers of the project in Africa.
Mandela University will produce at least six generic modules for post-graduate students and academics on research supervision and online learning and teaching for all 11 of the DAAD funded Centres of Excellence in Africa.
Members of the Digi-Face Steering Committee (from left to right): Prof Andreas Pattar, Nilly Chingaté Castaño, Junes Arfaoui, Prof Paul Webb, Merlin Kull, Dr Susan Kurgat, Prof Ewald Eisenberg, Prof Bernd Siebenhuener, Prof John Chang’ach
African-German Cooperation towards Decolonising Higher Education: CERM-ESA Approaches and Lessons Learnt
Please find an article reflecting on CERM-ESA’s approach to cooperation in the German-African context that you might also find interesting with regard to your own Centre.
This paper looks into decolonisation as a guiding principle for
North-South academic cooperation towards the United Nations
2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in 2015. The
purpose of this article is to examine the German Academic Exchange
Service (DAAD) funded African-German cooperation within the
East and South African-German Centre of Excellence for Educational
Research Methodologies and Management – CERM-ESA – and reflect
on its conditions and its contributions to decolonising higher education.
The article draws on relevant literature and reflects on
CERM-ESA activities, face-to-face discussions with CERM-ESA
faculty and students. The findings have practical implications for
North-South cooperation partnerships aimed at decolonising higher
education in Africa.
To read the full paper, please click here
The third offering of CERM-ESA’s Capacity Building Programme for Lecturers and Supervisors (CABLES) has kicked-off successfully in Accra this morning. A group of 25 participants representing the
– West African-German Centre of Excellence for Governance for Sustainable and Integrative Local Development
– West African-German Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Rural Transformation
– Congolese-German Centre of Excellence for Microfinance
– Ghanaian-German Centre of Excellence for Development Studies and the
– Namibian-German Centre of Excellence for Logistics
are engaging in questions of postgraduate supervision, curriculum development and interpersonal competencies for excellent teaching. The week-long professional development programme is the last in a row of three international and cross-disciplinary CABLES offerings that DAAD has sponsored for those lecturers, researchers and supervisors, who contribute to the success of the Centres of African Excellence.
Participants and facilitators of the CABLES@WA2019
CERM-ESA offers up to six DAAD in-country/ in-region Master’s scholarships and up to two PhD scholarships
THE EAST AND SOUTH AFRICAN-GERMAN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND MANAGEMENT (CERM-ESA) at Moi University announces up to
6 Masters Scholarships for our Master of Education in Research Programme,
funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) starting from the 1st of September 2019
and up to
2 PhD Scholarships in Sociology of Education funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) starting from the 1st of September, 2019
Sarah Jemutai, winner of the ‘best dissertation in the Humanities’ award
The evening of June 21, 2018 was a particularly special one for CERM-ESA Master’s student Sarah Jemutai, her supervisors as well as for her family and friends. Sarah, who graduated cum laude, was selected as the recipient of the Nelson Mandela University Council’s best Master’s Degree by Dissertation in the Humanities Award, which she received during the Academic Awards Dinner held at Port Elizabeth’s Feather Market Hall. The dinner is an annual event to acknowledge academic excellence, both in undergraduate and postgraduate studies across all of the faculties at Nelson Mandela University. Excellence is one of the university’s six values and is believed to be central to the institution’s striving for a sustainable future.
Sarah completed her Master’s degree by dissertation, an academic journey which requires commitment, sustained hard work and diligence. Her dissertation is entitled ‘The effect of using a six-brick Duplo block guided play approach on pre-school learners’ visual perceptual abilities’. The study situates itself within the pre-existing body of knowledge around the development of children’s visual and spatial abilities, which belies reading, writing and mathematics. However, through her research, Sarah identified that pre-existing studies have focused on older children who are already literate and who are being educated within a Western context. In light of this gap, the focus and dimensions of Sarah’s study are particularly topical. In focusing on the use of a six brick Duplo block intervention in one South African and one Kenyan school, Sarah argues that children’s development is accelerated through teachers’ facilitation of guided play using the six brick Duplo block approach. In turn, these findings have implications for curriculum developers, early childhood advisors and teachers when designing instructional materials that promote the development of reading, writing and numeracy skills in pre-literate children.
Not only does her study attest to the ever-evolving ways in which we conceive of educational methodologies and innovation, but her outstanding academic achievement demonstrates the potential of committed hard work, which sets an inspiring example for CERM-ESA students to follow.
Dear colleagues at the Centres of African Excellence,
CERM-ESA would like to announce its Capacity Building Programme for Lecturers and Supervisors in the DAAD funded Centres of African Excellence (CABLES).
The programme aims to further support the Centres’ work and efforts to offer excellent study and research opportunities. Hence, lecturers and supervisors who contribute to the Centres’ success and carry a substantial teaching and supervision load are the main target group for this year’s programme. Up to 6 lecturers/ supervisors of each Centre qualify for a full scholarship (travel, subsistence and study fees) to participate in the CABLES-programme.
The first CABLES-programme will take place between the 9th and 18th of August 2018 at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. This programme is offered to lecturers and supervisors of the Centres of African Excellence in South Africa and Namibia. Please see the poster/ handout attached and forward it to your colleagues in the Centres of African Excellence. We will also ask you as managers of the Centres to provide us with a list of names of your lecturers and supervisors in the Centre indicating the teaching load / contribution to the Centre’s work.
The second CABLES-programme is planned to take place at Moi University in October 2018 for all Centres of African Excellence in East Africa. The third CABLES is planned in 2019 for the West African Centres of African Excellence. More information on these is forthcoming.
Background: following from CERM-ESA’s mid-term evaluation and discussions with DAAD, CERM-ESA has developed this programme as one of its pillars for the second funding phase (starting in 2019) and for the Centre’s long-term perspective and sustainability strategy. It was decided that the programme should be offered in a first pilot phase to all Centres of African Excellence. Please have a look at the programme contents below. We hope that they are relevant to you and your academic staff.
Please see the attached PDF document for more information.
With kind regards,
your CERM-ESA team Capacity_Building_Programme_Proposal_2018-ENGLISH_Flyer
Today, CERM-ESA’s first cohort of eight Kenyan Master’s scholarship holders are graduating from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. We are extremely proud of our pioneer group of students who ventured to do a Master’s by Research in Education programme and worked hard under difficult circumstances to achieve their goal! Thanks to all supervisors from Mandela University, co-supervisors from Moi University and mentors from the CERM-ESA Faculty who supported the students tirelessly in their reserach journey. A 100% passrate and half of the students graduating with CUM LAUDE is fantastic!
Congratuations and have a wonderful day, Sarah Jemutai, Lily Yego, Zainabu Ramadhan, Ezekiel Chemwor, Ann Waithera, Janet Ronoh and Cornelius Rugut! And to you too, Robert Gamba, receiving the award on behalf of your late father, dear Josphat.
Enjoy! CERM-ESA community from Kenya, Germany, Tanzania and Uganda is with you in thought today!
The Editors are pleased to announce the online publication of the tenth issue, Vol. 6 No. 1 April 2017 of the Journal ‘Education Research for Social Change’.
The theme is ‘Africanizing educational research and practice’ and the guest editor is CERM-ESA’s project leader at NMMU, Paul Webb. CERM-ESA has contributed several papers, amongst them a project report that gives you insights on how we work and how CERM-ESA contributes to Africanisation, engagement and social change. Here is the link to the tenth issue:
Educational Research for Social Change is an international peer-reviewed journal established in 2012 (an initiative of the Faculty of Education, NMMU) and received DoHET accreditation in January 2016. ERSC is also included in the IBSS from February 2016.
See http://ersc.nmmu.ac.za or ersc.nmmu.ac.za
Please read and enjoy!