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The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could be a solution for the more and more plethoric number of students in the African universities. The French-speaking university Agency (AUF) selected four colleges of Africa to experiment the new technique of fashionable education in the West.
The first MOOCs that will come into being in Africa will cover several disciplines. The four projects accepted by the AUF concern the ecotourism (initiative of the University of Jendouba, Tunisia), the economy (University of Ouagadougou 2, Burkina Faso and Ibn Zohr University, Morocco), and the history (social and management sciences University of Bamako, Mali).
One of the advantages of these on-line massive courses is the relief of congestion of the universities of Africa.
« MOOCs are a wonderful opportunity for a country as Cameroon where, every year, 50 000 young people ask to have access to higher education, for eight state universities and two virtual universities. We count approximately 51 students per teacher, that is a ratio below the standards recommended by Unesco », explained to Jeune Afrique magazine, Emmanuel Tonyé, person in charge in the University of Yaoundé.
Beyond its fascinating aspect, MOOCs raise problems of adaptation and financing. Teachers who give course alone will be obliged to get acquainted with ICTS and to master the mechanisms of the online video. The universities that will opt for this new way of teaching will be also confronted with the bad quality of the connection speed in Africa.
For the meantime, courses will be given on the basis of the voluntary work; however reflections are made to associate with the project other partners as private sector actors. MOOCs took shape in the USA in the 2000s.
Original text by: Roger ADZAFO