The History of Distance Education in West Africa; The Timbuktian Scholarship - A Critical Appraisal.
Obilade, Titilola T.
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The purpose of the paper discussed in this poster was to trace the historical background of Distance Education (DE) in West Africa and to examine the challenges. The history of DE in West Africa can be traced back to the 12th Century. The Timbuktian scholarship started as far back as the 12th Century and included jurisprudence, Islamic education as well as grammar (Saad, 1983). It also included Astonomy, Government, Philosophy and Ethics. In the 12th Century, the challenges of DE was the danger of attack from bandits, the attack from hostile empires, the rigorous hand copying of hundreds of thousands of manuscripts and the extended months it took for learning materials to arrive. Today, the challenges of distance education in West Africa are the prohibitive cost of hardware, the lack of technical support and the language factor.