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Unicaf University Invites Zambian Teachers to Discuss the Benefits of Blended Learning

Acknowledging the important role of teachers in raising educational standards and in promoting national development, Unicaf University hosted a meeting on Saturday, February 23rd, at the Hilton hotel in Lusaka.

Welcoming a group of more than 30 teachers and heads of public and private schools in the Lusaka area, Unicaf University Zambia Vice Chancellor Professor Mpazi Sinjela highlighted the post-graduate degree programmes offered to professionals in education by the University, which are made affordable by the generous UNICAF Scholarship Programme. Professor Sinjela also presented the undergraduate degree programmes, available to secondary school leavers through online study, or through blended learning, (combining online delivery with on campus teaching), and highlighted the diverse benefits of blended learning at all levels of the educational system.

Dr Grace Chimbola Chilekwa, Director TESS at the Ministry of General Education, honouring the meeting with her presence said that the Ministry recognises how crucial the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is for the transformation of society to the universal requirements of an ever changing global environment. She referred to ICT as one of the main drivers of knowledge-based societies and stressed that the Zambian government is investing in ICT, in line with the UNESCO ICT Framework.

She also acknowledged that blended learning in secondary schools can enhance the capacity of students, create a more dynamic teaching/learning environment, and provide equity and access to education for all, including those living far from urban centres. Dr Chimbola Chilekwa added that ICT can encourage creativity, critical thinking, and decision-making, and can develop individuals capable of finding their place in a technologically driven skills-based economy.

After the main presentations, participants discussed in groups various issues relevant to blended learning in secondary schools. The teachers stressed that the government needs to address the serious issues of universal provision of electricity and internet connectivity in urban and rural areas, in order to facilitate the use of ICT in education.

All participants thanked Unicaf University for the hospitality and for the opportunity to discuss many different aspects of this important subject for education in Zambia.

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