GEOLOOC-WA Geology Open On-Line Courses – West Africa

Challenges in Teaching Geosciences in West-Africa
University teachers in West Africa are generally subject to enormous constraints in teaching students at all levels. This is particularly true in all natural sciences subjects including the Geosciences, which demand mobility for field training, analytical facilities and equipment. In addition, the scarcity of textbooks or standard sample sets available to describe the geological characteristics of the region engenders a substantial barrier for teaching in Geosciences. Amongst other constraints, the general inadequacy of national and international support has also meant that it has not been possible for university professors to pool their resources at sub-region scale, even though they often work on similar problems. Finally, access to high-speed network infrastructures has progressed only very recently. The eLearning Africa reporthighlighted the need for high quality open access teaching materials as a means of overcoming the scarcity of teaching resources of international standard. However, most of the teachers are not familiar with the use of external resources yet, and their capacities need to be upgraded in order to access a vast amount of possible resources some of which are the most appropriate for their teaching practices. As a consequence, the teaching of geology subjects is currently inadequate to serve the needs of the member states of ECOWAS as the contribution of mining and the extractive industries to national economic development continues to grow.

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