Virtually all development players now concur that for any meaningful and sustainable economic growth to be realized and sustained tertiary education must be centrally placed in the development agenda of nations. Countries around the world are striving to build the sector as part of their priority strategic development plan. Indeed, building a tertiary education system is no more a luxury but a national and continental imperative critical for Africa’s development and global competitiveness. Quality and relevance of university education have emerged as serious concerns of the sector for some time now. In addition, worldwide research on teaching in Higher Education revealed that most of the lecturers apply poor teaching practices because they do not have the professional teaching qualification (Deusto University, 2015; Cervini, 2010; Chen, Sok and Sok, 2007). The situation has been further aggravated by poor to no orientation of new lecturers. One of the Tuning Africa II workshops held in Accra, Ghana in October 2016 also had teaching quality as the lowest rated quality attributes in a study involving more than 180 universities and 300 000 students.
The training workshop was also guided by some of the priority areas agreed upon in the Declaration and Action Plan of the 1st Higher Education Summit on Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s Future held in Dakar, Senegal (10-12 March, 2015) which are:
Still, related to the AAU’s Basic HE Teaching Skills workshop series, an article on lack of induction programmes for early career academics on learning to teach written by Professor Damtew Teferra in the University World News publication of 18 November 2016 Issue No. 437 supports the need for such workshops to improve HE teaching and learning. Below is the article summary and its link:
Early career academics in Africa – The need for induction
For all the debates and dialogues on ‘massification’ and revitalizing higher education in Africa, little attention has been afforded to the state of the teaching skills of academics. Most academics are not trained to teach and are expected to catch up on the job. It is on this premise that a multi-country and multi-institutional research study on early career academics was undertaken and published in Studies in Higher Education as a special issue themed “Early Career Academics in Africa: Policies and experiences in the teaching praxis”. The articles examine the experiences of induction of early career academics in a number of African universities. The 2 year-long research study, review and production was supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and led by Professor Damtew Teferra of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Under the guidance of the African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063, the African Union Commission (AUC) developed a comprehensive ten-year Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) which is driven by the desire to set up a quality system of education and training to provide the African continent with efficient human resources adapted to African core values. As a key implementing organization of CESA 16-25 with a mandate to improve the quality of African Higher Education, the Association of African Universities (AAU) is willing to contribute to an efficient, “reorientation of Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at national, sub-regional and continental levels”. AAU believes that there are opportunities for us to continue working together to jumpstart and energize good teaching practices in African Higher Education. The training workshop seeks to fulfil three of CESA’s 12 strategic objectives which are:
N/B: It has been noted that throughout the world, institutions realize the challenges associated with higher education teaching and learning because lecturers are recruited on the basis of academic qualifications with no due consideration for the professional teaching qualification. In that regard, institutions have tried to put measures such as the teaching and learning centres as well as one-two year certificates/diplomas in teacher education which lecturers are not able to attend due to large workloads etc. or if they attend, most of them do not complete again for the same reasons.
It is against this background that the AAU is providing the short intensive training course on basic university teaching skills to equip lecturers with the foundations for effective teaching at tertiary level through content on Educational Psychology, Educational Philosophy and Educational Sociology, Bloom’s Taxonomy, ICTs & Instruction, Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education as well as Assessment and Evaluation.
The AAU is therefore pleased to announce its 4 day quality assurance short course entitled: THE BASIC HIGHER EDUCATION TEACHING SKILLS (BHETS) training workshop whose theme is:
21st CENTURY INNOVATIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS IN HIGHER EDUCATION.
Impart knowledge and skills related to teaching and learning in higher education to those lecturers who have an interest in updating or upgrading themselves to new modes of teaching and knowledge dissemination in higher education.
The objectives of this course will be achieved through lead lectures, intensive participant interaction over carefully selected cases and other materials in a process facilitated by renowned Resource Persons.
To ensure effective interaction and exchange of ideas, a maximum of 50 participants will be strictly observed, basing the selection on the principle of “first come, first served”. Participation is open to all who are teaching and managing teaching and learning (e.g. QA Personnel) in Higher Education/Tertiary institutions regardless of the area of speciality except those who already have a teaching qualification and any other personnel who are involved in teaching activities.
USD 400.00 for member universities and
USD 450.00 for non-Member universities
N/B: Further details will be announced in due course.