Four controversial experts will take part in "a bare-knuckle fight" about priorities for African education at this year's eLearning Africa Debate.
Outspoken Scottish entrepreneur and blogger Donald Clark and Namibian teacher and eLearning expert Maggy Beukes-Amiss will square up to "mobile technology crusader" Adele Botha and Angelo Gitonga of the ICT for Education Unit of Kenya's Ministry for Education at the annual war of words. They'll be arguing about whether too much attention has been paid to innovation in education and not enough to sustainability.
"It's a big issue and there'll be a bare-knuckle fight," says Harold Elletson, who will chair the debate alongside Honourable Silvia Makgone, Deputy Minister of Education, Namibia. According to Dr Elletson, "Some people think that the focus on innovation and technology has just persuaded governments and consumers to invest in equipment that soon becomes redundant. They say that the priority should be to support projects that are sustainable. Other people argue that innovation is vital to Africa's competitiveness and future economic growth. They say that it should be at the heart of the education system."
The eLearning Africa Debate has become the highlight of the eLearning Africa conference, an annual gathering of experts and decision-makers from all over Africa and beyond. Traditionally one of the liveliest and best attended events at the conference, this year's debate is likely to stir up real controversy.
"It's an issue which affects everyone and on which everyone has an opinion," says Dr Elletson. "The debate is an opportunity for conference participants to say what they think about one of the most important issues for the future of education in Africa."
The motion for debate, which will be put to a vote, is "This house believes that sustainability is more important than innovation for education in Africa". The debate will be held at the Safari Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia. All conference participants are welcome to attend and to take part in what promises to be a tense and exciting climax to a fascinating conference.
Information on the debate can be found at http://www.elearning-africa.com/programme_debate.php, and the full conference programme can be found at http://www.elearning-africa.com/programme_table.php
Notes for Editors
• eLearning Africa, 8th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training
• May 29 - 31, 2013
• Safari Conference Centre, Windhoek, Namibia
• Organisers: ICWE GmbH (www.icwe.net), Government of the Republic of Namibia
• eLearning Africa 2013 is supported by Platinum Sponsor DELL Wyse, Gold Sponsors Microsoft and NComputing, and Silver Sponsors Samsung and PC Training. Conference sponsors are: JP SA Couto, Gilat Satellite Networks, Teachers Media International (TMI), SES Broadband Service, Éditions Éburnie, IEEE, NVD SA, Telecom Namibia and PWC.
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