At a virtual meeting held on the 30th of April 2020, HP and the African Union Commission (AUC) agreed to join forces to expand digital remote learning opportunities for all youth in 55 AU Member States.
Both HP and the AU have agreed to collaborate on initiatives that focus on the exchange of information and expertise, as well as the promotion of various online platforms that facilitate remote learning.
With more than 400 million young people aged between 15 to 35 years, Africa has the youngest population in the world. To help contain the COVID-19 virus, almost all countries across the continent have shut down many of their schools and universities.
Of course, that has left a very large number of children and young people without any form of schooling.
During the virtual meeting Elisabeth Moreno, Managing Director and Vice President of HP Africa presented HP’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurship (HP LIFE) and BeOnline programmes.
These are unique online learning platforms that can be used by ministers to support schools and educators in reaching their students and maintaining their schooling remotely.
The two online learning platforms will contribute towards Chairperson of the AU H.E. Moussa Faki Mahammat’s 1 Million By 2021 initiative.
The 1 Million By 2021 initiative seeks to provide opportunities to young Africans from the 55 member states in the areas of Education, Employment, Engagement and Entrepreneurship (the 4Es).
Prioritising digital remote learning
It is in this context that the AU and HP are working together to ensure African youth have plenty of digital remote learning opportunities.
“Education is a fundamental human right that should be available regardless of a person’s age, class, race, gender or location,” said Moreno.
“To that end, HP has pledged to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025, as well as adding one million users to HP LIFE between 2016-25 – a commitment that aligns with the AU’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa, which aims to change Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture core values and promote sustainable development on a continental level.”
Today, technology facilitates many new ways of learning. Personal computers and software designed for education can offer students the flexibility they need to learn at their own pace, whether in or out of the classroom, or in a blend of environments.
HP and AU joint efforts have the potential to uplift access of education and opportunities for career work and economic growth.
Says Commissioner of the AUC Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, “The partnership with HP will accelerate our education response to COVID-19 especially and have long-term benefits. I implore AU Member States to make the most of these opportunities as this partnership means young people can access educational opportunities at no cost for the rest of this academic year.”
BeOnline was developed by HP in partnership with Classera, the leader in Learning Management Systems and Mirai, a learning innovations group focusing on learning strategy and digital instruction.
In line with the most recent regional governments’ directives for distance learning, the programme aims to support schools and universities in establishing a fully-fledged virtual learning environment, by providing expertise and tools at no cost.
The HP Foundation has created its global programme HP LIFE to provide business and IT skills training free of charge to people all over the world.
The online community and more than 30 self-paced courses are designed to help users develop business and IT skills in their own time and at their own pace. The courses are modular, interactive, and full of information and practical exercises that enable users to grow their business skills.
Click the links
If you are interested in investigating how either of these programmes can help you in your own distance-learning initiatives, the links above are a great place to start.
Since South African schools are only tentatively scheduled to go back in early June, and even then only certain grades, distance learning is the best way forward for now.
[Source: Media Release]