The project to support the implementation of the ‘Bachelor-Master-Doctorate’ (LMD in French) reform through ICTs capacities building in different universities in West Africa countries (PADTICE) seeks to enhance students’ daily life. Furthermore, the project will improve Higher Education’s quality and access.
With the LMD system, students are at the heart of the training, with a self-learning content. PADTICE seeks to reinforce the current training and managing system in Higher Education by focusing on the benefits offered by the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Thus, several actions should be established:
- Supporting the development of an online and distance learning,
- Developing learning spaces for students,
- Helping with the difficult setting of LMD reform (deficiency and/or inaccessibility of learning resources, lack or weakness of the required tools to manage student’s schooling, etc.)
Thus, the project aims to increase universities’ ICTs capacities through three components:
- Setting up physical and virtual ICT infrastructure,
- Ensuring the acquisition of equipment and hardware,
- Building capacities in the areas of ICT, university teaching, accreditation and quality assurance and research.
Concerning the acquisition of software tools, it is planned to accompany the establishment of 8 specific platforms such as a digital library which should improve the supply of university libraries. The development of internet portals which should be real information and communication tools is also part of this evolution. Furthermore, universities will benefit from modern and efficient managing tools to run the university system.
The building of “access rooms”, at least in the eight main universities of the project, will accompany the strategies already developed by universities to facilitate the access to ICTs for students, administrative staff and teachers. Plus, trainings will be organized in order to take over ICTs and strengthen the university community capacities and skills to use these tools. “Technologies give a plus for students” affirms Youssouf Ouattara, Coordinator of the project at UNESCO Dakar. An online access to knowledge, a plus for UEMOA universities
One of the key points of the project seeks to make the courses handout available, including outside the class. The publishing online of handouts by teachers should enable students to directly get classes’ educative resources that they are currently taking with difficulties in the crowded lectures. This would also help to provide some online-learning and open universities to a wider audience. African students are also part of the Y generation
“Students seem to be ahead of universities in the use of ICTs today. Most of them have a smarphone and e-mail addresses, they are going at least once a month in an internet cafe or have an access to Internet" notes Ouattara. "This process should be accompanied to fix their use of ICTs in learning processes” he adds.
Universities need to be accompanied to meet the current evolutions and provide the appropriate training.