Digital learning, also known as e-learning, is about supporting education through using information and communications technology (ICT). Around the world, digital learning tools are increasingly becoming integrated into academic and vocational education.
Teachers should be trained to integrate new technologies and online resources into their approach
Hammamet Conference 2013 Report, p22.
In the Maghreb region of North Africa, the Arab Spring has given new impetus to education reform in order to solve some of its most pressing problems. We believe that digital learning offers the potential to solve some of the region’s biggest education issues.
Youth unemployment rates in the region are some of the highest in the world, with up to 30% among young people unemployed. Governments are investing significant efforts into allowing youth to participate fully in economic growth. A major strand of this is education reform. The traditional means of education cannot keep with the growing demand for quality learning among students and employees, and private sector employers often lament poor employability skills including IT competency.
The Revolutionary Spirit
The British Council’s Revolutionary Promise research revealed that young people in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia feel they have become the ‘sacrificed generation’. Considering the hardships they face, from joblessness to political exclusion, delegates at the Hammamet Conference 2013 agreed that the present moment represents an historic opportunity to empower young people through education.
Starting the Conversation
Following some of the recommendations of the Hammamet Conference 2013 Report, we believe a conversation needs to take place to fully explore the benefits of digital education tools for the Maghreb region. A diverse range of stakeholders are active in this space but have yet to meet together. Important actors now occupying the digital learning space include;
- Government (Education Ministries)
- Teachers, professors and education leaders
- social entrepreneurs and digital entrepreneurs
- International education technology experts
- the media
We hope that gathering these key stakeholders will provide innovative insights into the needs of the region for moving forward with digital learning.