Show love and justice in whatever you do- Prof Cotton tells academics amid the opening of DETA conference

Around 180 educationalists from over 20 countries worldwide have attended the Distance Education & Teachers’ Training in Africa conference. Organized by University of Rwanda College of Education in collaboration with the University of Pretoria, the conference seek to discuss practical mechanisms to confront the issue of quality and scarcity of teachers in all levels of education.

In his opening remarks Prof. Phil Cotton the University of Rwanda Vice Chancellor urged participants to look on authentic ways of training and educating people with love and justice while conforming to contextualized standards.

Prof. Cotton officially opened the conference

“We come to this place because we believe that we can transform the lives of young generation that we are made to serve” Cotton said adding that the starting point for the University of Rwanda is to tell a story of transformation, change and love.

In his remarks, Prof George Njoroge, the Principal of the College of Education and the host institution expressed his gratitude to DETA officials for having selected Rwanda to host such a significant education forum. He noted that quality of education is vital to fulfill the potential of learners and it should be the target for every academic institution. He also added that quality education shouldn’t be de-linked with democratization of education and the use of extra-curricular methods that are meant to make learning enjoyable.

Prof. Njoroge the Principal of College of Education which is the host institution

Among the organizers of the conference was Dr Tony John Mays the Manager of Distance Education Unit in the University of Pretoria. He noted that the conference is organized due to the growing need to educate children at all levels from Primary up to tertiary education.

Dr Tony from University of Pretoria in his address to the media

“It is clear that we don’t have enough teachers in any system in any country, therefore we need to massively expand teacher education by embracing distance education” said Tony. He added that  with distance education people can be teaching in the classroom some of the time and learning in their own time while engaging in on line discussion when out to the classroom.  

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Irenée Ndayambaje, a lecturer at the University of Rwanda argued that education for all will only be achieved if the education system fully harnesses Distance education program. According to him, the new move would will be a huge success in education because students in remote areas will be able to access courses and participate in learning process. In addition, Ndayambaje pointed out that the system will also reduce the cost of education and save time given that students are incurring a lot of money to go where courses are delivered.

Dr Ndayambaje during an interview with the media

In the course of the conference, a side event of African Deans f Education Forum was organized. The forum aims at facilitating dialogue on critical issues in teacher education among the leadership of African faculties of education. 

African Deans f Education Forum

The 2017 DETA conference is set to discuss the sustainable development goals particularly the goal number four on how education for all can be made a reality from primary up to tertiary level.

Participants in DETA conference

Story by:Murangwa DariusCorporate Communications OfficeUniversity of Rwanda


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