<<March 2, 2000>>

Guenther Cyranek <g.cyranek@unesco.org>


Paulo Jorge Melo <pmelo@ccr-c.pt>

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP <daj@utk.edu>

Peter T. Knight <ptknight@attglobal.net>

Emilio Vento <evento@unido.org>

Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D. <alex_mau@argo.com.br>

Dr. Ihor Bogdan Katerniak <ik@litech.net>

Dr. Paul Lefrere <p.lefrere@open.ac.uk>

Dr. Teresita I. Barcelo <tbarcelo@iconn.com.ph>

Kimberly K. Obbink <kobbink@montana.edu>

John C. Afele, Ph.D <jafele@plant.uoguelph.ca>

Mr. Lane Smith <lasmith@usaid.gov>

Dear Guenther:

(1) Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I).

(2) Your workshop in Maputo on 6/8-9/00 would be very interesting!! Wishing
you a very good luck!!

Pls convey my best personal regards to Claudio when you meet him at the

(3) Our contact in Portugal is Paulo who was introduced by David Johnson.
Paulo participated my workshop in Florianopolis in the summer of 1997
via POTS while I retrieved his web site.

Pls feel free to contact Peter Knight -- I am sure that he would be very
pleased, since he speaks Portuguese fluently -- everyday with his
Brazilian wife.

(4) I am taking the liberty of distributing your excellent write-up
UNESCO's View on Virtual Learning Environments: Examples in the African
Context" (ATTACHMENT II), albeit rather long.

This is very well written. I learned a lot.

Dear Vento:

(5) Referring to your distance learning project for 6 African countries,
Guenther's write-up may be of some interest to you.

Dear Alex and David -- for the mini-workshop in Manaus,
Dear Ihor and Paul -- for the mini-workshop at Open University,
Dear Teresita and Kim -- for the mini-workshop in Manila:

(6) Pls read through to;

5. Sample of Recommendations for Distance Education,
6. UNESCO Workshop for Portuguese speaking African countries about
Virtual Learning Environments.

These sections give us a very good guidance for the conduct of our mini-workshop

-- subjects listed in them should be brainstormed during our events.

Dear John and Lane:

(7) You may also be interested in reading his write-up.

Best, Tak

From: "Guenther Cyranek" <cyranek@hotmail.com>
To: utsumi@columbia.edu
Cc: ptknight@attglobal.net, cmenezes@unesco.org.uy, j.rose@unesco.org, venancio@nambu.uem.mz
Subject: Virtual Learning workshop in Mozambique
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 00:23:15 PST

UNESCO plans in cooperation with the Regional Informatics Network for Africa
(RINAF) and the University of Eduardo Mondlane (vice rector Venancio
Massingue) in Maputo a workshop 8-9 June on Virtual Learning for portuguese
speaking countries.My UNESCO colleague for Brazil, Claudio MEnezes, you also
met during IFIP conference 1997 in Florianopolis.

For preparation we had a workshop in Fortaleza Brazil.Attached my article
about Virtual Learning related to Africa, as I work for sub-Saharan Africa.
In January I also visited the FEderal University of Santa Catarina and their
studios for Videoconferencing. Quite a success.

Are you in touch with people from Portugal in the field of Virtual Learning?

I know that Peter Knight is very interested in the co-operation with
portuguese speaking African countries (PALOP).

Best regards G‰nther

Virtual Learning Environments WISE'99
University of the State of Cear÷
In cooperation with IFIP WG 9.5
Fortaleza, Brazil
9-11 December 1999

UNESCO's View on Virtual Learning Environments
Examples in the African Context

G‰nther Cyranek
UNESCO Addis Ababa Office
Regional Informatics & Telematics Adviser

UNESCO is supporting the Information Society by stressing the benefits for
education, science, culture and communication. Interactive media promise a
broader access to distance education material in urban and rural areas.
Traditional media like newspaper, book, radio and TV can benefit from
combining e-mail and Internet use for educational purposes. CD-ROM production
and delivery is important for developing countries as long as access to on-line

information is too slow and too expensive. Beside traditional
institutions like libraries, schools and universities Multipurpuse Community
Telecentres offer access points to learning material. Concepts of virtual
learning environments are discussed like the African Virtual University. A new
media,Satellite Radio Broadcasting (SRB) is accessable throughout a continent
and offers in addition access to Internet content without a phone line e.g. a
distance education course for development in rural areas. Recommendations for
implementing distance education are introduced.

1 UNESCO's Support for an Information Society

Virtual environments are getting more and more popular: We are talking about
virtual libraries, virtual schools, virtual universities, or virtual
laboratories (IITAP & UNESCO 1999) to broaden access to knowledge and skills
as far as connectivity is available. In combination with traditional face-to-face

classroom based teaching and learning, virtual environments become
efficient means in translating the principle of the right to access to
knowledge into reality. Informatics and telematics can now offer effective and
efficient learning environments for primary and secondary education,
vocational training, universities, continous education, but also literacy training.

When considering the underlying infrastructure for virtual learning, we have
to keep in mind that there are substantial differences among geographical
regions and countries in the availability and in the capacity of network
services. Examples for research and development on appropriate use of advanced
IT for virtual learning environments are the information highway initiative
and the related higher education and school programmes in the USA, programmes
of the European Commission, the Francophone Virtual University or the African
Virtual University of the Worldbank. Specific educational technology standards
are needed to ensure re-usability of contents, methods and tools,
interoperability of services, quality, multilinguality, harmonized curriculum,
accreditation etc. Educational systems and other public service organizations
will have to work closely with industrial concerns to develop standards which
are flexible, open, freely available, and meet the needs of both
industrialized and developing countries. The international community,
including UNESCO, has a special role in promoting and guiding this process
(Hunya & Rose 1998).

In basic education, the main challenges of the information society include
providing tools for students to share ideas, to learn in collaborative
environments, and to become literate in the information technologies which
will be part of the future work places and lives. Lifelong and non-formal
learning will be increasingly pursued by a large number of people in the
information-based society. The labour market and changing working conditions
will necessitate more re-training. The availability of non-traditional
learning materials will encourage those who prefer the edutainment style.
Crucial issues are intelligent course design, adaptability of use, high
quality, accessibility and affordability.

In higher education the development of virtual universities is very promising
(EU 1998). The Open University of Catalunya was established as a virtual
campus from the beginning. The Spanish national open university UNED with over
150,000 students, has made significant progress in using ICT.

The Fern-Universit‹t Hagen in Germany offers courses on its WWW-based virtual campus.
In Switzerland the Swiss Virtual Campus is growing (Levrat 1997). Other
examples for virtual approaches in the USA are the World Lecture Hall of the
Houston University, the Maryland Virtual High School Project, the Virtual
Washington University Project, or the University of Central Florida.

Examples for UNESCO projects
UNESCO is developing a strong focus on ICT in education, working closely with
institutions in industrialized and developing countries and international
organizations like the European Commission and the Commonwealth of Learning.
The overall goal is to promote the appropriate use of ICT in education world-wide,

taking account of the economic, technological, organizational and
educational constraints faced by Member States.

_ Creating Learning Networks for African Teachers
Within its objective of promoting the application on telematics in achieving
Learning without Frontiers and of Education for All in Africa, UNESCO is
supporting an initiative called Creating Learning Networks for African
Teachers (UNESCO 1998) which foresees the development of a network connecting
African teacher training colleges and educational authorities to the Internet,
to promote educational reform, upgrade the capacity of teacher trainers and
in-service teachers, develop educational resource centres in the libraries of
colleges, and initiate pilot experiences on technology-based learning in the
surrounding schools (Qu«au & Rose 1998). Pilot projects started 1997 in
Zimbabwe with connection of five teacher training colleges, courses for
network use, and Web content development (e.g. Mutare Teachers College:
http://www.uz.ac.zw;80/distanceeducation/lwf/ mutare/).

_ Educational Application of Interactive TV
The purpose is to test the usefulness of this technology, which has been
applied up until now mainly in commercial applications such as video on demand
in industrialized countries. First applications are tested in co-operation
with ITU in primary teacher training in rural, peri-rural and urban settings
in India and Marocco.

_ International Virtual Classroom Environment
In pilot projects tools were collected and tested for creating and operating
virtual learning services (temporary address www.szit.bme.hu/vlc/list.php3 )

_ International Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE)
This institute was launched 1997 in Moscow. The Institute will establish an
international Internet-based information system on education. This will
provide students, teachers, educational managers and decision makers with
information on technologies in the learning process, on leading educational
institutions and programmes, on freely available tools for virtual learning.

_ IMAGINE Project
The initiative IMAGINE means Interactive Multimedia Access to Global
Initiatives through Networking for Education. Technological and pedagogical
research should respond to essential questions: How can the information
society support learning processes, and how can education contribute to build
the information society. Also education processes should benefit from

_ World Communication and Information Report
Every two years this informative report with chapters on ICT and social
processes, on evolution of ICT with continental overviews is published (UNESCO

Learning to learn, and learning to use information, will be essential in the
Information Society. Therefore we have to redefine current conceptions of
literacy and basic education. In addition, pedagogical research needs to look
at new forms of teaching and learning as well as new learning tools and

2 Initiatives in Africa

43 African countries out of 53 are now participating in the Regional
Information Society Network for Africa (RINAF) as part of the
Intergovernmental Informatics Programme (IIP) of UNESCO. RINAF is particularly
concerned with strengthening the roles of the public sector and the civil
society in Africa in exploiting information and communication technologies for
development. In the coming years we have to strengthen RINAF networking for
the inclusion of all societal sectors including rural, isolated and other
disadvantaged communities. During the last RINAF meeting in Addis Ababa during
African Development Forum October 1999 ten priority projects were identified:
1 Linking Scientists, 2 Content Development for Interactive Media, 3 Tertiary
Education & Research Organisations, 4 Promote wireless based technology, 5
Provide infos about solar panel for PCs and MCTs, 6 Future Training
activities, 7 Distance Education, 8 Multimedia, Printing, Radio, 9 Public
access, 10 Computer recycling/maintenance.

The role of Virtual Information Space in the context of African Culture (see
e.g. Web presence of Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou
http://www.fespaco.bf or International African Arts and Crafts Trade Show
http://www.siao.gov.bf/) has to be extended, to be able to support development
of indigenous Internet content at the regional, sub-regional and local levels,
particularly in collecting, interpreting, evaluating and disseminating
traditional knowledge for development in cooperation with technical and social
science departments of universities, together with teacher training and
vocational training institutions, radio stations, artists, musicians, computer
specialists, librarians, etc.

UNESCO supports strongly the installation of African digital libraries (Qu«au
& Rose 1998). However, the advances to network libraries were concentrated in
university-based libraries, and therefore school and public libraries have
been largely excluded. African libraries have to strengthen their efforts to
become gateways to information highways for development, by making textbooks
and periodicals electronically available, as well as audiovisual materials and
computer-based courseware. All appropriate technologies should be applied to
bring needed information to the community level, including CD-ROM, telematics
and inexpensive local reprographic facilities.

The potential of virtual learning environment has to be understood by decision
makers in the educational and vocational sector. To support and evaluate
virtual learning environments for distance education is now the task. First
hands-on experiences in the field are necessary with Internet browsing for
relevant materials, E-mail for communication with teachers and professors,

CD-ROM access for documents and interactive simulations. In addition, the access
to virtual libraries improves educational institutions with state-of-the-art
didactical and methodological materials, access to international scientific
journals and conference documentation. Just as important as electronic access
are print-outs at free or nominal charge for educational or other public
service use. The implementation of Virtual Laboratories (IITAO & UNESCO 1999)
and the production of CD-ROMs with examples of good practice are one way to
support educational institutions, using simulation tools, groupware and other
new software techniques as appropriate. Nevertheless, this approach has to be
supported by affordable delivery channels which means that public service
sector users have to consolidate their needs in negotiations with
telecommunication and telematics service providers, and that the public
authorities have to assume a proactive, constructive role in promoting the
installation of infostructure in schools, communities and other public service
sector institutions.

In the field of communication we have to be aware of merging technologies.
Internet, TV, radio and press media are used together. Therefore, workshops
about Internet applications and change of patterns for access to information
for the whole media sector have to be developed and organized in cooperation
with associations of journalists and media organizations.

In addition to affordable information infrastructure, informatics and
telematics applications based on African needs, for building information
communities in Africa requires appropriate political, legal and ethical
frameworks ensuring the development of a dynamic electronic public domain and
affordable access to information and telematics facilities by all sectors of
society including professional and grass roots communities. These are part of
the wider domain "info-ethical" considerations which are a key part of the
UNESCO concerns (http://www.unesco.org/webworld/).

Limitations of networking technology are often discussed as strengthening the
disparity of urban rich and rural poor in developing countries, increasing the
capacity of the urban elite to dominate and influence decision-making (Madon
1995). In addition, culture and language are different factors for
consideration with the new communication channels. The availability of local
language interfaces is a demand. The many different local languages in African
countries stress an oral tradition. To strengthen this languages that are not
written, Internet could be used as medium for exchanging features between
different local radio stations.

Constructing a technical infrastructure for Internet is not sufficient. At the
same time it is neccessary to support interested groups who are able after
some supportive and cooperative training to develop ideas for useful social
applications with the Internet. That is valid in education as well as in
health, or in the agriculture sector. Therefore to develop social pilot
projects with Internet is necessary for local adaptation and to support with
optimism local demand for sustainable development.

3 Different Approaches for the Concept of the Virtual University

The promising Internet applications in education are virtual libraries,
lesson experience environments and course-support environments (Collis 1998).
The private library made from collections of resources of virtual libraries
becomes the bookmark collection of one's browser. These virtual materials are
available on the basis of interest, rather than location restrictions and
cost. The lesson experience approach is attractive for linked creative
educational projects e.g. on water pollution, second language courses.

Educationally oriented Java applets allow instructional animations,
interactive quiz and simulation. These virtual laboratories offer simulations
e.g. for a gas turbine, for building and testing of digital circuits, for the
investigation of the mechanical design of various structures, for
demonstration of computational fluid dynamics (Reed & Afjeh 1998).

More and more course-support environments are experienced all over the world
at University level and as seminars for business people. This virtual campus
approach is a fashionable word for organizing the institutional process in
education, but has to be developed in a stronger regional and local manner for
cooperation and exchange of educational knowledge. We need more experience to
develop the medium in new directions. The expression Virtual University offers
different approaches how to benefit from and how to use this interactive
medium for access to resource persons, documents and virtual libraries,
videoconferencing, chatrooms etc. Unfortunately, the access to educational
services is more and more seen as a branch of electronic commerce (IMS-Project 1997).

One criteria to look at the concept of virtual university is: How do different
virtual learning environments support regional cooperation within the existing
educational institutional context? Generally spoken, for all these approaches
is very important: for a better understanding and the development of local
Internet didactics (Harris 1998, Winnips 1998) there is a strong need for
courses to traditional professors at the collaborating universities about
self learning, cooperation, autonomy and self-organizing of the learning
process and about what the options are for designing virtual learning
environments (Ramos & Fagundes 1998).

Very important is the type of evaluation process looking very clearly to learn
from the use, possible misuse, advantages and disappointments in cooperation
with the actors in future projects. Therefore the evaluation methodology
should include participating observation with follow-up and assistance in the
activities evaluated, and which is based on interviews and videotaped on
location for further demonstration and discussion.

3.1 South Africa: UNISA
During a visit to South Africa's largest distance education university UNISA
attempts were discussed to go on-line. It was indicated that UNISA's education
system still depends on postal services. Experiences from the States have
shown that on-line courses are very difficult to manage when targeting a large
number of students (as is the case with UNISA). Benefiting from new
technology, UNISA which offers courses cheaper than most open or distance
universities, is spreading its wings across the world. Experiments, especially
in co-operation with Canada are now under way to have technical courses on-line accessible.

3.2 Virtual Francophone University
The project of Virtual Francophone University (l'Universit« Virtuelle
Francophone UVF) is supporting with its approach the cooperation of regional
research institutions. Open questions are the role of local professors in
study centers, the acceptance of credits, the didactical structure of the
courses. The idea for members of the expert committee in each country is one
head from the North, one from the South.

3.3 African Virtual University of the Worldbank
The African Virtual University (AVU) started 1997 in 12 English speaking
coutries, continued with seven French speaking countries and three Portuguese
speaking countries in 1998 (Jensen 1998, Vol II., 117). The courses are
developed in Canada, the USA and Europe. The videotapes and live lectures are
broadcasted from uplinking facilities in the USA via INTELSAT. A digital
library program offers access to 1700 scientific journals for African students
and faculty. Training of librarians who will in turn train students and
faculty, are organized.

The concept of the African Virtual University (AVU) is a interactive-instructional

telecommunications network established to serve the countries of
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The mission of AVU is to use the power of modern
information technologies to increase access to educational resources
throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the AVU is to build

world-class degree programs that support economic development by educating and
training world-class scientists, technicians, engineers, business managers,
health care providers, and other professionals. The AVU is a project of the
World Bank, the central scheduling for broadcasting courses is headquartered
in Washington, DC.

Existing university programs in SSA, particularly in scientific and
technological disciplines, are inadequate to meet the rapidly increasing
demands of students. Use of technology in the implementation of the AVU
enables institutions of higher education to supplement their existing programs
with the resources of a global "virtual university". Through the establishment
of the AVU, institutions of higher education can provide more cost-effective
mass education in the disciplines that are so critically needed in SSA by
using technology to share the highest quality academic faculty, library
resources, and laboratory experiences available in the world. The AVU taps the
potential offered by technology to overcome the existing barriers of declining
budgets, too few faculty, outdated equipment, and limited space and facilities
that prevent increased access to higher education for a significant majority
of students in SSA.

The AVU design
The AVU network design is modeled after numerous highly successful distance
learning networks operational in the United States. However, the AVU surpasses
these existing operations in the multi-national scope of its program
development effort, its academic support plan, and its network operations. The
AVU works with program development affiliates, instructional support staff,
and satellite uplink facilities in the United States and
Europe. Implementation of the AVU in each country in SSA is the responsibility
of one or more local partner institutions. Courses of instruction are
customized by the faculty of selected partner institutions through the
development of class notes, application examples, problem sets, and exam
questions. Partner institutions also secure student registrations and award
local credit for courses. The AVU is truly a global project, collaborating
with the very best academic resource and operational support providers around
the world to provide the curriculum, instructional support, and technical
infrastructure, while partnering with institutions across SSA to make the
resources accessible to as many students as possible.

The AVU is being developed and implemented in three phases. The first phase is
the prototype service phase, which started in 1997. The purpose of this phase
is to establish partnerships with institutions of higher education throughout
SSA for the offering of technology-based credit courses and noncredit seminars
using digital satellite technology. Up to five countries in Anglophone Africa
and five countries in Francophone Africa were participating in the prototype
service phase. Academic resources being offered during this initial phase of
operations are being adapted from the existing videotaped curricula of some of
the leading universities in the United States. Other courses are being
developed specifically for the AVU by institutions of higher education in
Ireland and in countries of continental Europe (e.g. Belgium for

french-speaking countries). Programs will be broadcasted to partner institutions in
Africa via satellite from the U.S. and Europe.

A successful prototype service will provide the foundation for the second
phase of the AVU project, which will include the offering of complete
undergraduate degree programs from leading universities worldwide. The third
phase of the AVU project will follow with the development and offering of
science and technology curricula from one or more partner institutions in SSA.
The full implementation of the third phase will be the resource sharing of
technology-based degree programs among institutions of higher education
throughout SSA.

The Beginning of AVU
Activities being carried out under the pilot phase consist of the delivery, by
satellite, of credit and non-credit instructional programs, from universities
and educational institutions in the United States and other developed
countries. The World Bank financed the supply and installation of satellite
receive terminals at 14 universities in English speaking African countries,
Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, 3 in Ghana, 2 in Kenya (the Kenyatta
University Nairobi, Egerton University in Kenya), 2 in Tanzania.

The pilot sample of participating African partner institutions includes public
and private universities, large and small, located in the capital cities and
in the countryside. Another 9 satellite receive terminals were installed in 7
French speaking countries since April 1998. By end 1998, 3 more sites will be
installed in Portuguese speaking countries. Other countries/universities are
applying to participate in the pilot phase. The planned 25 sites to be
operational by July 98 is thus a conservative estimate. As the first of group
of participating universities gains experience with the implementation of the
AVU at their respective campus, they will be relied upon to provide consulting
services for the implementation of the AVU at the new campuses.

A first year undergraduate course (a calculus I from NJIT) was broadcast in
the summer months of 1997 (July 16 to August 29) to students at KENYATTA
University in Nairobi. The pass-rate from the final examination graded by the
local instructor, was an outstanding 80 percent compared to a mere 40 percent
in the traditional delivery mode. A 2 x 4 hrs seminar on Managing the
Purchasing Function delivered in April 1997 from the Virginia Polytechnic
Institute was attended by 265 participants at 7 receive sites in 4 countries.
The feedback obtained from participants was a demand for more seminars.

The first full semester of the pilot phase started October 1 and ran till
December 23, 1997. It consisted of the delivery of 6 first year undergraduate
courses in science (Calculus 1 and 2 from NJIT, Electric Circuits 1 from UMASS
(US), and Introduction to Statistics, Internet and Physics from Dublin
Institute of Technology (Ireland). The ongoing 2nd semester started in January
1998 semester. The broadcast of the seminar series started in 98. A marketing
campaign has to be organized on each campus ahead of the scheduled broadcast.

Broadcasting and receiving
AVU undergraduate program course package consists of videotaped and live
lectures supplemented by class notes, textbook and homework. The videotapes
and live lectures are broadcast from COMSAT RSI uplinking facilities in
Clarksburg Maryland. Live sessions are originated in Ku band from US
universities on GE Spacenet 3 and INTELSAT 603 for the Irish courses to COMSAT
earth station which re-transmits the signal to Africa on INTELSAT 515 in C
band frequency. It is anticipated that courses originating from Canada will be
transmitted directly on Intelsat 803 from a C band uplinking facilities on the
East coast.

Since 1998 internet based courses used as free-standing as well as
enhancements to the video-based lectures were introduced. Some of the
additional features being explored relate to groupware with facilities for
exam and quizzes on-line, computer simulated laboratory experiments, etc.

The typical satellite receive terminal at an AVU partner institution in Africa
consists of a 4.5 meter antenna, coaxial cabling to the classroom, and a
totally redundant receive system in the classroom, i.e. VCR, PC to control the
system, high speed data interface, an integrated receiver decoder (IRD),
facsimile, printer and UPS for dish antenna and classroom equipment.

The AVU sites work with VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) to direct
satellite link. VSAT technology offers communication for Telephon, Fax, E-Mail
and Internet with at least 64 Kbps. Costs for the terminal and dish antenna
are 20-25,000 US$. The costs p.a. for satellite access for Virtual Learning
and Videoconferencing are 60,000 US$ for the institution - as confirmed by
Worldbank Addis Ababa. The installation per site as part of African Virtual
University (AVU) program of Worldbank (10 sites for distance education in
Africa, after 3 years 60 sites are planned all over Africa, estimation for the
future are about 270 access instututions) costs with satellite access,
antenna, technical equipment for telecom, TV and PC rooms ca. 350,000US$.

The feedback evaluation survey for the first phase was developed by a team of
consultants from the University of New Mexico
(http://mtsnmc2.unm.edu/avu/avu.html). This team is conducting data
collection, evaluation and preparing periodic reports.

Example 1: AVU Business Centre approach at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
Sustainability of the AVU after the pilot phase will be ensured from students
tuition and revenues from seminars. The virtual seminars at Kenyatta
University in Nairobi are financially a success. As background, the
educational situation in Kenya is alarming: Annually 160.000 students are
leaving secondary school, 30.000 qualify for university. 1999 only 9.000
students had access to the countries universities. That means 151.000 have no
adequate perspective as alternatives to University are more or less missing
like vocational training institutions, polytechnics, etc. Therefore AVU is a
chance to get a course degree e.g. in Information Technology: Operating
systems, Webdesign, Network Management, etc. 2 weeks cost 50$ covering 2
hours/day; a 2 month course with 8 hours/day costs 200US$, a 9 month

pre-university course costs 1200 US$. It is very popular and fashionable to
demonstrate for example a MIT course certificate, independent of the course
content. In addition executive seminars are offered for 40$/day. The services
like Fax service, e-mail (1$/page) digital library (2,5 $/month) are used by
students, faculty members, workers, housewifes from town. AVU at Kenyatta
University Nairobi with this fee structure makes 80,000 US$ profit/year. This
amount will be reinvested for infrastructure, buildings, PCs, etc. In a next
step, the cooperation between universities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will
be strengthened for local course development which will be broadcasted.

Example 2: AVU at University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
AVU at University of Addis Ababa up to now is equipped with one-way video, two
way audio for their courses. The infrastructure will be upgraded soon. Demand
for courses in sciences like physics or chemistry is very low. More attractive
are PC courses, which were cheaper offered than commercial courses by computer
companies downtown.

In fact the broadcasted lectures are passively consumed by the students and
videotaped. As students do not have e-mail access there is no electronic
feedback to lecturers. The satellite link is more or less used to produce a
video library. In that case, delivery by ordinary mail service seems to be
cheaper. Talking heads are the poor didactical approaches, no difference to
conventional classes, beside that students learn English.

Example 3: Applications at Ethiopian Civil Service College (ECSC)
For the Ethiopian Civil Service College in Addis Ababa the Worldbank offered
equipment, dish antenna, and training for staff. ECSC has a 64 Kb connection
to the satellite, Worldbank Headquarter for download 128 Kb. In the beginning
10 PCs were connected to the Internet, an extention to 35 connected PCs will
be realized till March 2000. The students have to pass tests via e-mail.

For planning and broadcasting courses, ECSC is up to now 100% dependent from
the TV co-ordination studio in Washington (Network Operation Centre NOC).
Washington announces a theme, and the institution then can announce and
collect participants. Beginning from March 2000 direct satellite lectures are
planned from Ethiopia with Oxford, Harvard, and after upgrading the system
also with Japan.

One example is a course in Economy, Growth and Poverty Reduction which is
broadcasted for governmental bodies during 10 weeks at the same time in
Ethiopia, Benin, Ghana and Senegal. The course is organized in 3h
broadcasting, and 3h additional classroom presence per week. The total costs,
including Worldbank instructors, are 2000 US$/week. The college only has to
pay for electricity.

The offered degree program is depending on the demands of provinces, e.g. in
municipal engineering, law, accounting etc. Also short term courses are
offered for local needs. A two-week course for the public costs 80
US$/participant (salary in Ethiopia 60 US$/month, but other statistics say
that 60% of the population have a daily income of 1 US$ or even less). As an
evening program an accounting diploma is offered. A master degree program runs
in urban management. From all 14 regions in Ethiopia 1800 regular students are
at ECSC. A Centre for Distance Learning will be established with centres in
each region (starting in 2000 with 6 regions). In the beginning the courses
are offered only on paper. Similar satellite stations like in Addis Ababa are
planned in 2000 for regional centres within these six Ethiopian provinces. In
the near future the ECSC has to make its own profit to expand and spread
courses in the country.

4 Access to virtual learning environments

In the long run, access to virtual learning environments will be provided by
traditional academic institutions, vocational training centres, schools,
public libraries, cyber caf«s, Multipurpose Community Telecentres, merging
medias TV, Radio and Satellite Radio Broadcasting. Multipurpose Community
Telecentres and Satellite Radio Broadcasting are discussed below in more details.

4.1 Multipurpose Community Telecentres in Africa

4.1.1 Africa's Information Society Initiative
Africa has made important progress in defining priorities to catch up with the
implementation of national information society policies and the infrastructure
for information highways, particularly through the Africa's Information
Society Initiative (AISI) framework adopted by Ministers of Planning and of
Telecommunication in 1996 (see http://www.bellanet.org/partners/aisi and the
document The African Connection of African Ministers of Communication at

Benefits of the African Information Society are seen in job creation, for
health sector (e.g. better administration and management through access to
medical information systems, and access to skilled diagnosis through
tele-medicine), for education and research (e.g. schools, universities and
research institutions, reducing communication costs), culture (e.g. regional
and global access to African museums, electronic preservation and
documentation of manuscripts and artefacts), trade and commerce, tourism, food
security, gender and development, in better emergency communication systems in
man-made crises and natural disasters.

The international community has an important role in helping Africa to build
information communities. For example, co-operation of UNESCO with the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) is being strengthened in the
implementation of the Decade for African Education, in preparation of a
Protocol on Education, Training and Culture under the United Nations
System-wide Special Initiative on Africa, two inter-agency projects supported
by UNESCO concentrate on securing better access to and participation of
African countries in the information highways (Harnessing Information
Technologies for Development) and the use of the media to promote tolerance
and peace (Communication for Peace Building).

UNESCO's action to assist Africa has focused on an active collaboration within
UN system-wide Special Initiative on Africa called Harnessing Information
Technology for Development (HITD) intended to support the long-term AISI
framework. Lead agencies are United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(ECA), the International Development Research Centre Canada (IDRC), the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNESCO and the World Bank.

Multipurpose Community Telecentres
The concept of the multipurpose community tele-centre (MCT, see
http://www.bica99.org) is seen by UNESCO (Rose 1998, Cyranek 1999, Rose 1999)
and its partners as an approach which can empower communities to make
appropriate use of information and communication technologies for social,
cultural and economic development through the co-operation of all concerned
stakeholders at the community, regional and national levels.

With support of the Danish development assistance agency DANIDA UNESCO could
help to implement MCT pilot projects in five least developed African countries
within the HITD/AISI framework in Benin, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda.
This development programme is jointly sponsored by IDRC, the ITU and UNESCO,
and has the support of several other international partners in specific
projects. The five telecentre pilot projects were selected by the national
authorities on the basis of development needs, available infrastructures and
logistical considerations. The different locations and national supporters of
these MCTs are:
Benin: Malanville, a town in the far north of the country. VSAT system
foreseen. Support by telecom, concerned ministries, local authorities and
enthusiastic user groups.
Mali: Timbuktu, a medium sized city and the principal regional administrative
centre for the desert north. The MCT will work with a leased 64 Kb line.
Support of the ministries concerned with communication, culture, tourism,
education and of the regional and municipal authorities.
Mozambique: Manhi·a and Namaacha, respectively about 80 km from Maputo.
Participants in the Mozambique telecentre project include various sectors of
Eduardo Mondlane University especially the Informatics Centre (CIUEM) with
support from teacher training institutions and various governmental bodies
which are members of the Mozambique Acacia Advisory Committee.
Tanzania: Sengerema, a rural town on Lake Victoria. Support of the Tanzania
Commission for Science and Technology, ministries of health, environment,
agriculture and rural development, a local development association, local
Government, Open University in Tanzania, hospital and health organizations in
the area, local business, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd.
Uganda: Nakaseke, a rural village 50 km north of Kampala. Principal national
support of Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, the Uganda Public Libraries
Board and Uganda Telecommunications Limited.

The UNESCO/DANIDA component in these five pilot projects concentrates on
support for formal and non-formal education initiatives, experiments on
distance education, but is also aimed to strengthen grass-roots organizations,
and the information capacity of the MCTs in co-operation with public library systems.

Lessons learned from Telecentre experiences
A main success factor of a MCT pilot project is to build a local consortium of
stakeholders including NGOs, the community, governmental institutions, and the
private sector. A selection process depends on which role a MCT could play for
development. It can, for example, support literacy campaigns, basic education,
grassroots activities, access to development information, teacher training,
distance education.

At least three basic functional areas of the MCT concept can be identified as
Rural Business Centre, as Information Distribution Center, and as Public Service Provider:
* Rural Business Centre: basic office administration services like
telephone, fax, photocopy, and word processing, combined with E-mail and
Internet access for small companies, farmers, teachers, NGOs.
* Community Based Resources: e.g. discussion lists, Web pages to improve
visibility of local groups, local access to radio production facilities.
* Public Services: e.g. information on government programmes, access to
development information worldwide, support of distance education by use of
interactive media (CD-ROM, Internet), support of health consultancy through tele-medicine.

4.2 Broadcasting by Satellite Radio

The WorldSpace Digital Satellite System consists of three geostationary
satellites which will cover Africa, Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean
Basin, Latin America and the Caribbean. Each content provider routes a
specially coded digital signal through a small satellite dish to a WorlsSpace
geostationary satellite. The WorldSpace Digital Satellite Receiver has been
developed in cooperation with Matsushita (Panasonic), Hitachi, Sanyo, and JVC
(www.worldspace.com). the Afristar satellite is launched, tested and operates
now for Africa. Next satellites are AsiaStar and AmeriStar working in 2000.
Since the last 10 years WorldSpace has secured $1 billion in private

4.2.1 Downloading Internet content without phone line
Contracted content of Internet can be downlowded from beginning March 2000. A
special modem is needed for connecting the WorldSpace receiver with a PC.
Planned themes on different channels are youth, women, lifestyle, news,
health, education etc. Contracted are yet NASA, WHO, Washington Post, New York
Times, Reuters. UNESCO is in discussions with WorldSpace, to offer the UNESCO
Web content (www.unesco.org) with continous updates for education, science,
culture and communication. This offers new possibilities for downloading
distance education materials.

4.2.2 Distance Education project for Schools in Ethiopia
In cooperation with the Educational Media Agency (EMA) and the Ministry of
Education the WorldSpace Foundation is planning a first pilot project in
Ethiopia, as Mr Samara, founder and head of the WorldSpace Board, is born in
Ethiopia. Since 40 years EMA had no change of equipment, now with satellite
radio system they can experience new distance education methodologies. Courses
will be prepared and broadcasted on gender issues, about environment
protection and health care in four local languages. It is planned that each
school gets a WorlsSpace receiver, now 50 secondary schools are equipped.

4.2.3 Telekiosk Truck
A mobile telekiosk unit has been developed by WorlsSpace to test the market
and train people. The truck is equipped with Multimedia (WS receivers, PCs,
Internet access, and printing facilities), with a Radio Studio (for local
radio shows, recordings and re-broadcasting outside area for social and
community development activities), Public telephones (Schlumberger Publiphones
and Inmarsat Publisat) and general equipment like power generator, solar
panels, air conditioning, security and fire alarms, various antennas). The
costs for a mobile unit are 200.000 US$, it may come down to 50.000US$ if
produced for all 53 African countries. The first pilot project started in
November 1999 in Mali in cooperation with the national Telecom Sotelma. The
truck will stay one month in each region to get more information about
communication needs in rural areas.

5 Sample of Recommendations for Distance Education

The seminar Distance Education by Satellite (NILESAT) held in Cairo April
1999 in cooperation with the European Union and UNESCO resulted from the four
working groups on Educational Aspects, Courseware Development Aspects,
Delivery Technology Aspects, and Administrative Aspects among others with
following recommendations (Shawki, Cairo 1999):
* Assessment for Distance Education: Target audience and priority areas
are viewed as critical success factors.
* Importance of conducting a pre-phase to raise awareness among university
professors and students as to the availability of numerous new means for
knowledge delivery and acquisition.
* Pilot projects to test different distance education models, including
evaluation methods.
* Assessment study including
* Education models and teacher models for different faculties and
curricula (including re-examination of various existing curricula)
* Methodologies for courseware development
* Suitable incentive schemes (financial or academic) to compensate
staff for their involvement relating to a chosen cost model
* Admission policies and procedures for distance education students
* Development of guidelines for admissible educational materials
* Faculty training and training of trainers on priority aspects of ICT
applications in education
* Accreditation of distance education courses (undergraduate, graduate and
post-graduate programmes)
* Coordinating body serving as National Centre for ICT in Education (e.g.
at Supreme Council of Universities or Ministry of Higher Education).
* Attention to legal aspects of distance education: copyright,
intellectual property, ownership of digital media (see Copyright
Bulletin 1999).
* Appropriatedness of tele-centres, equipment and interactive classrooms
for distance education
* Support by government and private sector for affordable
telecommunication costs

6 UNESCO Workshop for portuguese speaking African countries about Virtual Learning Environments

We want to discuss among others these recommendations in a UNESCO
RINAF-workshop in Lusophon countries in Africa together with Brazil, Portugal
and East-Timor, planned for May 2000 in Mozambique. The objective is to
discuss during this workshop more details for co-operation in the field of
distance education and virtual learning environments. Questions for a demand
driven approach are e.g.: Which courses are needed in the African context at
local universities? How to adapt existing course material? Can Universities or
teacher training institution in Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique,
S o Tome e Principe offer courses or material for distance education? What
type of training for local professors to reach a better understanding of
didactical methodologies, of tools for co-operation, etc? What can be done at
each institution to integrate distance courses in local curriculum? Which
institutions in Brazil and Portugal are willing to offer courses? What are
actually experiences in distance education cooperation between Brazil-Africa
and Portugal-Africa?


Acacia Programme : International Development Research Centre IRDC,
African Virtual University: information for development program (infoDev) of
Worldbank, http://www.worldbank.org/html/fpd/infodev
Collis B.A. (1998) Teleware: Instrumentation for Tele-Learning. University of
Twente. Faculty of Educational Science and Technology.
Copyright Bulletin (1999): Distance education and copyright. Copyright
Bulletin Vol. XXXiii, No. 2 (1999), p. 1-26, edited by UNESCO;
Cyranek G. (1999): UNESCO's Approach to Building Information Communities in
Africa. BICA Conference. Pretoria, South Africa 1999
Cyranek G., Nascimento J., Arruda S. (eds.) (1998): Information Technology for
Competitiveness Experiences and Demands for Education and Vocational
Training. Proceedings of IFIP WG 9.4/WG 9.5 Conference 1997. SENAI-CTAI,
National Technology Center for Automation and Informatics, Florianopolis,
EU (1998): Review of research and development in technologies for education
and training: 1994-98. Commission of the European Communities, Directorate
XIII, Brusselles 1998
Fl‰ckiger F. and A. Ninck (eds) (1998): Conference on New Learning
Technologies. Classroom 2000. Fribourg 1998
Gamelan (1998): The official directory for Java. http://www.gamelan.com
H‹nni H. and T. Piendl (1998): Use of New Information and Communication
Technologies in Higher Education at Swiss Federal Institut of Technology
Zurich. In: Fl‰ckiger & Ninck 1998, S. 61-72
Harris, J. (1998) Form follows function: Web page architecture for educational
telecomputing projects. University of Texas at Austin.
Hunya P. and Rose J. (1998): Seminario Virtual Interdisciplinar e
Interuniversario sobre Educaci¢n, Medios de Communicaci¢n y Nuevas
Technologƒas. Paris (internal document)
IITAP & UNESCO (1999): Expert Meeting on Virtual Laboratories. Summary,
Findings, and Recommendations. International Institute of Theoretical and
Applied Physics (IITAP) with support of UNESCO. Iowa State University 1999
IMS-Project (1997): Learning material as financial transaction. Center for
Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT). http:// www.imsproject.org
Jensen M. (1998): The regional Informatics Network for Africa (RINAF). An
External Evaluation for UNESCO. CII-98/WS/14 Volume 1+2. UNESCO Paris
1998, http://www.unesco.org/webworld
Levrat B.(1997): Scenario for enabling a Swiss Virtual Campus. InVerdejo F.
and Davies G. (eds.): The Virtual Campus: Trends for Higher Education and
Training. Proceedings of IFIP TC9 WG 3.3/WG 3.6 Working Conference. Madrid
Madon S. (1995): The Internet: An opportunity for developing countries?
Discussion paper for IFIP WG 9.4. London School of Economics 1995
Qu«au P. and J. Rose (1998): Telematics as aDriving Force for African
Development. In [Ras-Work 1998], pp 102-123.
Ramos E.M.F. and Fagundes L. (1998): The Learning of Cooperation and Autonomy:
A New Paradigm of Human Resources. In: Cyranek, Nascimento & Arruda 1998
Ras-Work T. (ed.) (1998): Telecommunications in Africa. Tam Tam to Internet.
Johannesburg 1998
Reed J.A. and Afjeh A.A. (1998): Developing interactive educational
engineering software for the World Wide Web with Java. Computers &
Education, 30(3/4), 183-194
Rose J. (1998): Multipurpose Community Telecentres as a support for Population
and Development Policies. In: ICPD Advocacy in the Global Information and
Knowledge Management Age: Creating a New Culture. Ankara 1998
Rose J. (1999): Multipurpose Community Telecentres in support of
People-centred Development. Cambridge 1999
Shawki T. (Ed) (1999): The Euro-Egyptian Symposium on Distance Education by
Satellite. UNESCO Cairo Office 1999
UNESCO (1998): UNESCO Initiative: Creating Learning Networks for African
Teachers, http://www.unesco.org/education/educprog/lwf/doc/IA1.html
UNESCO (1999): World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000. UNESCO.
Paris 1999
Universit« Virtuelle Francophone (1998): Agence francophone pour
l'enseignement superieur et la recherche (AUPELF-UREF),
Winnips K. (1998): Scaffolding the development of skills in the design process
for educational media through hyperlinked units of learning material
(ULMs). University of Twente. Faculty of Educational Science and
Technology. http://scaffolding.edte.utwente.nl

Appendix 1


English speaking Countries

Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AAU)
Kenyatta University, Nairobi Kenya (KU)
Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda(MUK)
Uganda Polytechnic, Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda (UPK)
Uganda Martyrs University, Nkosi, Uganda (UMU)
University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (UZ)
National University of Science & Technology Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Open University of Tanzania, Dar- Es-Salaam, Tanzania
University of Dar- Es-Salaam, Dar- Es-Salaam, Tanzania
University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (UST)
University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Francophone Countries

Universite de Dakar, Senegal
Universite d Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire
Ecole superieure polytechnique de Yamoussokro, Cote d Ivoire
Etablissements Loko, Cote d'Ivoire (biggest private educational institution in
the country)
Universite de Lome, Togo
Universite de Cotonou, Benin
Universite d Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso
Centre universitaire de Bobo Diou Lasso, Burkina Faso
Universite de Niamey, Niger
Universite de Nouakchott Mauritania

Lusophone Countries

Universite Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
Cape Verde Higher Education institute: request received from the Ministry
Appendix 2


CS-10A Introduction to the Internet
CS-1A Introduction to Computing
MA-3B Calculus and Analytic Geometry III
MA-4B Differential Equations
EE-4B Computer Organization
ENG-2A Introduction to Engineering
PHY-2A Physics II
Introduction to C++ Programming
CH-2A Organic Chemistry

Return to Global University System Early 2000 Correspondence

List of Distribution

Guenther Cyranek
Regional Informatics and Telematics Adviser for sub-Saharan Africa
Communication, Information and Informatics Division
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
ECA New Building/Africa Hall
P. O. Box 1177
Menelik Avenue
Addis Ababa
Phone: (+251-1) 51 72 00 Ext. 35422
(+251-1) 51 39 53 Secretary
Mobile: (+251-9) 20 27 01
Fax: (+251-1) 51 14 14

Claudio Menezes
Conselheiro do Programa de Informatica
America Latina e Caribe
organizacao das nacoes unidas para a educacao, a ciencia e a cultura united
nations educational, scientific and cultural organization organisation des
nations unies pour l'education, la science et la culture
TELS.: (5561) 223-8684, (5561) 217-6470 or 223 1923
FAX: (5561) 322-4261
Celular: (5561) 984 1673

Paulo Jorge Melo
Comissao de Coordenacao da Regiao Centro
Gabinete de Informatica e Estatistica
Coimbra University
R. Bernardim Ribeiro, 80
3000 Coimbra - Portugal
Phone: 351-39-400150/149
Fax : 351-39-702097
(OneNet BBS FirstClass Systems)
( 14.400 bps - 351-39-703442 )
( ISDN - 351-39-7081340 )

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP
Board member of GLOSAS/USA
Former President of Fulbright Association
Professor Emeritus, School of Planning
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tenneseee
108-I Hoskins Library
Knoxville, TN 37996-4015
Tel: +1-423-974 5227
Fax: +1-423-974 5229

Peter T. Knight
Knight, Moore - Telematics for Education and Development
Communications Development Incorporated (CDI)
Strategy, Policy, Design, Implementation, Evaluation
1825 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1075
Washington, DC 20006, USA
Tel: 1-202-775-2132 (secretary), 1-202-721-0348 (direct)
Fax: 1-202-775-2135 (office), 1-202-362-8482 (home)
webmail: ptknight@netscape.net
IP for CU-SeeMe:
http://www.knight-moore.com/projects/GSTF.html -- about GSTF

Emilio Vento
UNIDO-ICS Liaison Officer
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 300
A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: (+43-1)-26026-3726
Fax: (+43-1)-26026-6811
E-mail: evento@unido.org

Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences
University of Amazonas - Brazil
C.P. 4208, Manaus 69053-140
+55-92-635 32 33
+55-92-644 23 22
Fax: +55-92-644 23 84

Dr. Ihor Bogdan Katerniak
Lviv Institute of Management-LIM
Technology Promotion Center
57 V.Chornovil Ave.
Lviv 79601
Tel: +380-322-52 2681
Fax: +380 322-52 2682
Fax: +380-322-52 4463

Dr. Paul Lefrere
Senior Lecturer
Institute of Educational Technology
Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Tel: +44-1-908 65 33 88
Fax: +44-1-908 67 28 02

Dr. Teresita I. Barcelo
Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Philippines/Open University
Manila, Philippines
Tel: 526-2272
Fax: 523-1633
Pager: 1441-17-1114

Kimberly K. Obbink
Burns Telecommunications Center and Extended Studies
128 EPS Building,
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3860
Tel: +1-406-994 6550
Fax: +1-406-994 7856

John C. Afele, Ph.D
International Program for Africa
Department of Plant Agriculture
Ontario Agricultural College
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
Tel: +1-519-824-4120 ext 3934
Fax: +1-519-763-8933
Email: jafele@plant.uoguelph.ca

Mr. Lane Smith
Coordinator of the Leland Initiative
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), AFR/SD
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C. 20523-4600
Tel: +1-202-712 0826
Fax: +1-202-216-3373
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *

Return to: Global University System Early 2000 Correspondence
Web page by Steve McCarty, World Association for Online Education President