[LIS-Forum] [Fwd: [Sigiii-l] [Fwd: [GKD] Online "Open Content"
arun at mssrf.res.in
Fri Nov 18 12:41:53 IST 2005
NEWS RELEASE: NOVEMBER 16, 2005
FREE ONLINE "OPEN CONTENT" INITIATIVES ANNOUNCED
New Web Portal Connects People in Developing Countries to Course
Materials from Universities Worldwide
Hewlett Foundation Announces $900K Grant to African Virtual University for
Teacher Training Program
TUNIS - A new Web initiative launched today at the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), will connect anyone with Internet access and
the desire to learn to a world of free, high-quality open educational
materials. The Development Gateway Foundation's "Open Educational
Resources" portal aims to equalize access to education and help people in
developing countries improve their chances for a better life.
The portal features free course materials and other educational content
offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Johns Hopkins
School of Public Health, Chinese Open Resources for Education and other
institutions around the world. The initiative is launched in partnership
by the Development Gateway Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett
While content on the Open Educational Resources portal is particularly
geared to educators, students and self-learners in developing countries it
is available for everyone. The portal will also facilitate
communication among the growing online community of providers and users of
free, online educational resources.
Alan J. Rossi, Chief Executive Officer of the Development Gateway added,
"Our goal with this new portal is to encourage more citizens and
universities in the developing world to tap into the wealth of free,
educational resources available online so more people have a shot at
improving their lives and their future."
The Hewlett Foundation also announced a $900,000 grant to support the
Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) initiative, an "open
content" resource bank of educational materials to train teachers in basic
curriculum areas including literacy, numeracy, science and life and health
skills. TESSA is a consortium of African and international organizations.
It is led by the African Virtual University (Nairobi) and the Open
"We launched the teaching the teachers program to directly address the
enormous challenge of educating and training the millions of teachers
needed in sub-Saharan Africa," said Rector Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo of the
African Virtual University, which is the hub for a network of
African universities working together to support open, distance and
eLearning initiatives via 57 learning centers in 28 African countries.
TESSA will initially be implemented in Tanzania and South Africa.
Funding for the new Open Educational Resources portal and for TESSA is
provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Foundation
supports a wide portfolio of Open Educational Resource initiatives,
including MIT's OpenCourseWare to publish course materials from
virtually all MIT courses and Widernet eGranary to improve digital access
in developing countries.
"These two innovative activities will provide access to high quality
content drawn from throughout the world," said Marshall Smith,
Educational Director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. "This is
critical in areas such as Africa, where lack of infrastructure and the
high cost of education prevent millions of people from raising the quality
of life in their communities."
The new OER portal can be found at
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