Finally I got to share our ICT4EEDU project at the prestigious eLearning Africa conference with our African and international counterparts.
I had the opportunity to participate in the same conference in Cairo last year in may, when three members from Eritrea Institute of Technology and University of Eastern Finland took part. That created a good first impression and prepared me for submitting a proposal to present the project in this year’s. Our proposal was accepted by the eLearning Africa organizing committee. This opened a great opportunity for me to get to the podium in a such magnificent international conference for the first time and presented my abstract. This was an ice-breaking experience for me and I believe many more of such experiences will surely follow, as we keep doing greater and better activities at EIT.
My presentation topic was, ‘Establishing an ICT Support for Education and research: a role model for Eritrean Higher Education’. Although the time slot allotted for the presentations was so tight, I passed the message I wanted to share with the audience and it was so great for me as I got good feedback from some of the audience too. In my presentation, I mentioned the main challenges that we identified when launched the ICT capacity development project under the Eritrea-Finland cooperation agreement; the solutions we seek for these challenges, and the relentless efforts and activities we have been running to achieve the goals. It was a success story that the project is yet living up to the expectations despite several instances of delays and challenges. The project is producing applicable and easing-life solutions to serve crucial demands by the EIT education community for educational resources. Although the needs for ICT support in education are limitless, the ICT4EEDU project is providing a very big opportunity to get EIT, and Eritrea, back on track in equipping our institute with the basic foundation for developing the national research & education network in Eritrea, a bigger plan.
During the conference, we are having a chance to meet counterparts from different countries of Africa and International ICT experts from other countries. With some of the contacts, we have had preliminary exchanges of information, which will lead to more concrete bilateral connections in the future. I have also met some of our African counterparts whom we met last year at the 11th eLearning Africa conference in Cairo and had refreshing discussions. For example, Prof. Abdulkerim from Sudanese National University, whom I know since the Cairo conference last year, is now engaged in a very interesting area of research in Information Systems and development, which is linked to my future research plans. We have agreed to keep in touch and work in a shared topic.
Since the moment I started my steps in Mauritius on Tuesday the 26th 2017, I had the exceptional opportunity to explore so many parts of the country, including rum testing, visiting special gardens, as well as the beautiful city of Port Luis in the beautiful island, Mauritius. These experiences will never fade in my memory.
The success of my participation is attributed to the invaluable support from my accompanying colleagues in the ICT4EEDU project, Dr. Andres Moreno and Mr. Alem Habte, as we have been working hard to make the preparation for this. Thanking also Andres for his international experience and adding flavor to our conference participation, by arranging adventures around the Island.
My take-home goal from this conference is that I will participate in more of this kind of events now that the door is open and I can confidently step forward and exchange our experiences with the international academic and policy community. This will happen, if myself and my fellow colleagues at EIT prepare ourselves to aim for international standards in education and technology.
This year in Mauritius, there are more than 600 conference participants from all around the world to discuss on the theme of the conference: ‘Learning in Context’. Thanks to the Organizing committee and the Mauritius government for making this wonderful event a reality in this magnificent island, which has never been in my imagination to see it so soon. We hope such experience will come again and grow more, hence getting more responsibilities for capacity building at our higher education institutions.
The ICT4EEDU team, from Mauritius