Seychelles gets first Commonwealth of Learning Open and e-learning centre |25 May 2022
Open and e-learning to get big boost
By Patrick Joubert
The Ministry of Education in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has opened a new COL Open and e-learning centre (COL Odel) to strengthen its ICT resources and capacities, as well as to enhance its blended learning and open and distance learning courses.
The unveiling of the mobile plaque by the Minister for Education, Justin Valentin, and the President and chief executive of COL, Asha Kanwar, to inaugurate the COL Odel centre, was held in a short ceremony on location at the ministry’s headquarters, Mont Fleuri, yesterday morning.
Present were education ministers Aishath Ali and Nyan Gadsby Dolly from the Maldives and Trinidad and Tobago respectively and other guests from the delegation of Commonwealth of Learning, principal secretaries and other senior officials from the Ministry of Education.
The centre, equipped with IT room and a smaller adjacent recording room, will be used by teachers for open distance learning and to record lessons for television or online broadcast.
Addressing all present, Minister Valentin said that the opening of the first COL Odel centre in the country is part of the ministry’s plan to make it a technology-enable institution, as an excellent deal that will further develop and facilitate the teachers and students capacities.
“The whole idea is to propel the idea of Commonwealth of Learning, moving education to the next level, using distance mode and technology. We at the ministry, really embrace this philosophy,” said Minister Valentin who commended COL for its continued support.
As for the reason of the mobile plaque, Minister Valentin explained that it was not fixed as there are moves to expand the facility and move it to a bigger location where then the plaque will be fixed permanently.
For her part, Mrs Kanwar said that COL will be providing equipment and capacity building with the aim of turning the centre into a regional hub in the next few years so as to facilitate other countries in the region also.
She added that COL will also be providing solar panels for the centre to cut down on carbon foot prints and for lessons to continue during power cuts.
“It’s going to be a three-year holistic approach where some equipment will be augmented plus ongoing supply of capacity development. We hope that this centre will become a kind of centre of expertise at the end of three years in case in the region there is some need and this centre becomes the port of call,” Mrs Kanwar said.
She commended the ministry for having taken steps to digitalise the education system and she noted that COL, through its different programmes, will continue to provide its support in that transformation direction to provide quality education.