Distance Education: The future of Education (1/3)
Day 5 and closing day of the program titled “Training Program for Secondary School Educators in Cameroon on the use of Instructional Technology for Distance Education” --which held from October 25th-29th 2021 at the prestigious Polytechnic Yaounde - 3D Printing Center - was spectacular after a week full of educational adventures and interactions
The program, which kick-started at 8:00 am as usual with the arrival and checking-in of participants and facilitators, was immediately followed by a compelling session on Video Production led by Titus Abongdoh and Clifford Muchuo, who walked participants in an enthusiastic manner through the process of creating and editing videos with their computers and mobile gadgets. Participants also learnt how to create, manage and run a YouTube Channel (vlogging), as well as content quality control measures. After this enriching training session, participants were given the chance to further hone their skills on the content learnt, by breaking them down into groups for practical video production and editing sessions, followed by presentation of final video products.
Next was a presentation on TiC (Tech Innovation Community) Summit by its founder, Bill N. Agha, who exhorted teachers to encourage their students to sign up for such an event, in a bid to promote tech innovation amongst young and creative Cameroonian students in secondary schools. After this, the Country Director of Open Dreams, Akaba James, also briefly introduced the organization, outlining its achievements over the years in the academic life of its scholars and explaining how the teachers could use it as push to spur themselves and their students to work harder.
After lunch, there was another presentation on US Government Exchange Programs/the Cameroon Fulbright TEA Alumni Association (CAFTAL) Activities by the President Emeritus of CAFTAL, Nteta Philip, who expounded on the various life-changing opportunities available to hardworking, committed and ambitious teachers.
The most emotional phase of the closing ceremony came with feedback from the project participants, as they took turns to give their overall remarks with respect to the training program. All the participants were extremely thankful to the US Embassy in Cameroon and Open Dreams for such a great opportunity that was remarkably impactful and exciting. Many expressed how through the program, they were able to triumph over certain myths and phobia they had vis-à-vis instructional technology. One of them said ‘It was indeed worth the time; "I must say I’m grateful to God and the Team that made this possible. Thank you. Also, a big thanks to all the participant, I will miss your beautiful faces but we will keep in touch. A broad smile to you all'. Another participant said; "With the advent of Covid19 and restrictions, I have wanted to use these technologies but couldn’t wrap my head around them. Now, I know just what to do. A big thanks to Open Dreams and the US embassy for such a timely and life-changing opportunity. Open Dreams forward ever, backward never", while another said ‘We are eternally grateful to Open Dreams and the US Embassy for everything. We can’t thank you enough’ … and the list is long, illustrating how meaningful and impacting the program was to the teachers. In the end, there was a standing ovation with exceeding cheering for the Director of Open Dreams, the team and everyone for making this possible.
Following this magnificent phase of the program was a blissful session with performances from both the participants and the facilitators including dances and singing amongst others, that greatly thrilled the audience and everyone was compelled to join in the fun and merry-making. This preceded the award of Certificates of Completion to all 50 participants, followed by a highly engaging photo and networking session that was characterized by a joy-filled atmosphere.
By 5:00 pm prompt, the program came to an end as the Director of Open Dreams appreciated all participants for their seriousness and dedication, and facilitators for a job well done. As the participants waved goodbye, the smiles on their faces could tell of the great sense of achievement attained from the program and the beautiful tales they had to tell their families, students and colleagues back home and at school.
By Pateson Vades, N.