This resource page was created to help higher education institutions plan for possible campus disruption by COVID-19, or Coronavirus 19—a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.
The Association of African Universities (AAU) has observed with growing concern developments related to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The life-threatening nature and rapid transmission of this disease has been felt globally – its significant impact on the global education systems is also being felt, especially in African countries. Numerous African higher education institutions (HEIs) and other educational institutions have been ordered to close in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. UNESCO (2020) monitoring estimates that 776.7 million children and youth worldwide will be obstructed by the closure of schools resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AAU, eLearnAfrica and WILEY Education Services partner to support African Universities, expedite their migration to online education
We are pleased to announce that the Association of African Universities (AAU) has partnered with eLearnAfrica and Wiley Education Services to quickly support African Universities migrate their teaching and learning activities to online platforms. Please read the announcement below
- English Version – AAU, eLearnAfrica & Wiley partnership
- French Version – AAU, eLearnAfrica & Wiley partnership
- AAU WES Africa Proposal to support African Universities
Below is a statement from the AAU Secretary General pertaining to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
Appeal to African Governments to support African Higher Education Institutions and to use this COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen our educational institutions by making them much more resilient to unforeseen crises. Below is the letter sent to African Ministries of Education in 4 languages:
- Arabic Version of the letter to Ministries of Education
- English Version of the letter to Ministries of Education
- French Version of the letter to Ministries of Education
- Portuguese Version of the letter to Ministries of Education
The AAU and RRENs call for strengthening of campus networks infrastructure
The Association of African Universities (AAU), the UbuntuNet Alliance (UA), the West and Central Africa Research and Education Network (WACREN), the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) and the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa are therefore calling for investments to support the development and strengthening of campus networks & research and education networks infrastructure and provision of online/remote teaching and learning platforms/tools for African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
For further information concerning the source and spread of the disease:
- Download the Communique of the AUC Specialized Technical Committee
- World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- African Union: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Below are resources that could be useful for African Higher Education Institutions as they grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic:
- AAU and OER Africa developed Emergency Response Webinars
- Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF): COVID-19 : des ressources en ligne pour assurer la continuité pédagogique
- OpenClasrooms: Continuité pédagogique
- France Université Numérique FUN Campus platform
- COUSERA for Campuses affected by COVID-19 closures
- ChalkBoard Education for mobile learning solutions – catering for limited connectivity
- Blackboard Academy’s Digital Teaching and Learning Series offers educators READ MORE
- The Commonwealth of Learning various Resources and Tools on the COVID-19 crisis: https://www.col.org/news/press-releases/keeping-doors-learning-open-covid-19
- Free access to the scientific literature on COVID-19: https://pages.semanticscholar.org/coronavirus-research
- EDUCAUSE Resource Web Page on COVID-19: https://library.educause.edu/topics/information-technology-management-and-leadership/covid19
- The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak: https://iite.unesco.org/news/handbook-on-facilitating-flexible-learning-during-educational-disruption/
The AAU is also pleased to note initiatives by African Universities to participate in high-end research towards finding a cure for COVID-19 and or participate in community outreach services to curb the spread of COVID-19. We are also pleased to see efforts by African Universities to move their teaching to online platforms.
- The African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID) at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria that is leading the way in fighting COVID-19 in Africa (Read More Here)
- LASU-ACEITSE commences interactive delivery of 6 courses. Read More
- 2iE Centre of Excellence distributes hand sanitizers as part of its contribution to national preventive measures in Burkina Faso.
- University of Ghana moves lectures online. Read More
- University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences students volunteer at the Tygerberg Hospital Disaster Management Centre Read More
- The African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID) contributes to global tracking of COVID-19 Read More
Alternative Educational Delivery Methods
In case of disruptive events that prevent students and staff from meeting face-to-face, learning institutions are developing alternative teaching continuity plans to move their classrooms online.
Below are recommended short-term measures that African Universities are being advised to consider:
- Use Zoom, Google Classroom, etc. for meetings and online classes
- Devise options for students that cannot connect – e.g. recording the sessions and sending them to those students via WhatsApp or email
- Review learning activities in line with online / distance delivery: e.g. assess what activities are most feasible for remote learners.
- There is a plethora of courses online. Incorporate existing online content that matches the universities’ requirements – e.g. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), COUSERA courses
- Incorporate Cloud Hosting Services to eliminate the challenges associated with campus-hosted services that are affected by power outages or internet outages. Examples are IBM Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, VMWARE Cloud, etc
- Communicate as much as possible to the university stakeholders – students, staff, partners and communities. The universities’ websites & social media must be alive and vibrant with updates concerning teaching/learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
- The AAU and Regional Research & Education Networks to facilitate negotiations with Telcos for the zero-rating of educational websites. Coordination with National Research and Education Networks is also key as African universities move to implement medium and long-term interventions
- Coordination teams must be established to handle crisis communication, students’ queries and implementation of the short, medium and long-term interventions
Offers by the private sector and other players to assist African Universities transform their delivery methods