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ECOWAS Commissioner on ICT lauds education technology

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Dr Adrienne Yande Diop, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender has noted that Information Communication and Technology (ICT) provide access to education for people under difficult circumstances.

She said the use of ICT contributed immensely to the far reaching endeavours in education, medicine, tourism, travel business, banking, engineering and architecture for the past three decades.

Dr Diop was speaking at the opening of a four-day meeting of a Joint Committee on Education, Science, Technology, Youth, Sports and Culture and ICT.

It is aimed at ensuring concrete participation of Parliaments in the sub-region to advance the integration process.

It was on the theme: “Introduction of New Information and Communication Technologies in the System of Education; Challenges and Perspectives.”

Dr Diop said the second conference of ECOWAS Ministers of Education in 2004 adopted e-learning as a priority adding: “In order to actualise this dream the President of the Commission in 2006 inaugurated the ECOWAS e-learning Task Force.”

She noted that after a series of consultation within the commission and with the technical and financial partners, the task force recommended among others things the development of definite programme that will impact on the lives of ECOWAS citizens, conduct of a survey of e-learning in member states and the development of a regional e-learning policy,

Resource mobilisation for the e-learning initiative and designation of a hub for the regional e-learning programme was also recommended.

Dr Diop said five closely related programmes have been developed by the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning, UNESCO, African Development Bank, Computer Companies and consultants.

She said the community computer centre in Lome-Togo had been designated as a prospective hub for the initiative.

Dr Diop said in order to assess the e-readiness of member states for the programmes, a survey of e-learning was conducted in February and March 2009 and a comprehensive list of e-learning institutions and personnel have been obtained along with other information that could be leveraged for the initiative.

She called on member states to imbibe and promote ICT because it holds the future for functional and targeted education.

Mr Ousmane Mahamane, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament and former President of Niger opened the meeting.

Source: GNA

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