About

The aim of the Network of OER and Multimodal Self-Directed Learning in Southern Africa is to create a space to research and build capacities regarding OER and Multimodal Learning in the region.

The Network of OER and Multimodal Self-Directed Learning in Southern Africa is hosted by the North-West University’s UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER.

The Network is administered by the UNESCO Chair’s Executive Committee as well as an advisory board consisting of members from countries in the Southern African Development Community.

UNESCO Chair Executive Committee

From left to right: Mr Judicial Sebatana, Dr Dorothy Laubscher, Dr Amit Dhakulkar, Prof. Jako Olivier, Dr Byron Bunt, Dr Marry Mdakane, Mr Christo Els and Dr Donnavan Kruger (absent from the photo Dr Chantelle Bosch).

The members of the Executive Committee are all staff members of the North-West University.

UNESCO Chair

Jako Olivier

South Africa

Prof. Jako Olivier is a professor in Multimodal Learning at the North-West University (NWU), South Africa. He holds the UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources. He obtained his PhD in 2011 in which he researched the accommodation and promotion of multilingualism in schools by means of blended learning. Before he joined the NWU as lecturer in 2010, he was involved in teaching information technology and languages in schools in the United Kingdom and in South Africa. From 2010 to 2015 he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts of the NWU after being appointed as associate professor in the Faculty of Education in 2015. In 2018 he was promoted to full professor at the NWU. He received the Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Emerging Researcher Medal in 2018. Currently he is also a member of the advisory board of SlideWiki and an active member of the South African Creative Commons Chapter. His research, located within the NWU’s Research Unit for Self-directed Learning, is focused on self-directed multimodal learning, open educational resources, multiliteracies, individualized blended learning, e-learning in language classrooms, online multilingualism and macro-sociolinguistics.

Amit Dhakulkar

South Africa

Dr Amit Dhakulkar is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER North-West University, South Africa. He has a PhD in Science Education and his research interests fall in two overlapping focus areas: (1) Science and mathematics education. The primary area of his work is in science and mathematics education. In his thesis he looked at aspects of graphicacy (pertaining to graphs) in the context of learning science and mathematics in school. He has also taught and developed several courses and modules in this area and have special interest in history and philosophy of science relevant for education. (2) Technology and Open Educational Resources. The broader interest area that he has in this context is the use of technology in education and its political, pedagogical and sociological aspects. He has advocated the use of Free and Open Source Software and OER at various levels and is currently doing research in the area of OER.

Fatima Bdair – Research Assistant within the UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER. Researcher with the Open Education Initiative (OEI) & Global Map of OER (Iniciativa Educação Aberta (IEA) & Mapa Global de REA).

NOMSA Advisory Board

Pauline Ngimwa

Kenya

Dr Pauline Ngimwa is a Kenyan national with extensive work experience in African Higher Education where she has led educational programmes including Technology Enhanced Learning initiatives. Currently, she is a Programme Manager at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), responsible for research capacity strengthening of early and mid-career researchers including doctoral students in Africa. Before joining PASGR, she led the implementation of digital library and multi-national teacher education training projects at the African Virtual University. Her research interests include design and use of digital educational resources including Open Educational Resources in African Higher Education. She has published in this area and peered reviewed for international journals. She holds a PhD and a Masters of Research in Educational Technology from the Open University, UK; and BSc. and Masters in Information Science from Moi University, Kenya. She is also a fellow with the African Science Leadership Programme, University of Pretoria.

Sandhya Gunness

Mauritius

Sandhya Gunness is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Innovative and Lifelong Learning – University of Mauritius. She works as online tutor and content developper for the BSc and MSc Educational Technology Programmes. She is also coordinating the MA Educational Leadership programme in collaboration with the University of Seychelles and has reviewed and adapted the COL OER contents for the SIDS contexts.
She has conducted many workshops with COL, UNESCO, COMESA and the SADC on numerous e-learning projects and is currently pursuing her PhD studies in the field of Horizontal Collaborative Networks and development of T-Shaped graduates through Transdisciplinary Approaches.
She has recently coordinated a national survey on the use of Digital Tablets in Primary schools in Mauritius in consultation with the World Bank and was also member of the committee responsible for drafting the National OER policy for the Ministry of Education Mauritius.

Francis Simui

Zambia

Dr Francis Simui is a Canon Collins Trust/Chevening Alumni. He holds a PhD in Inclusive Education from the University of Zambia with specialization in developing and managing an effective Open and Distance Education and inclusive education systems. He has more than 10 years of hands-on experience working as a practitioner of Open and Distance Education, building capacity of more than 20 higher learning institutions in ODL across Zambia. He is Head – Programmes Development & Production at the University of Zambia under the Institute of Distance Education. Francis has been honoured severally among which include the prestigious “Postgraduate Team Working Award”, in 2007, courtesy of PrizeWaterHouseCoopers and the University of Manchester, the best research presenter during the Open and Distance Learning Colloquium, 2010, Botswana under SADC-ODL project, as well as an outstanding performer and dedicated to duty and full of innovation during the 2013 Labour awards, University of Zambia.

Karen Ferreira-Meyers

Eswatini

Associate Professor Karen Ferreira-Meyers was born and raised in Belgium. After her first Master’s Degree (in Romance Philology), she went to live and work in Southern Africa, in Swaziland (now called Eswatini). As Associate Professor and Coordinator Modern Languages, she taught different courses in French and English. In addition she ensures the smooth running of the Certificate in Portuguese programme. She has published extensively (a book and more than 60 papers and the same amount of book reviews), she peer-reviews and edits for several scientific journals. She is a keen translator and interpreter. She coordinated the design and development of several modules(OER) for the African Virtual University; these were prepared in English, French and Portuguese. Her scientific interests include different aspects of distance and e-learning (OER, OEP, blended learning, learning analytics, online facilitation), teaching and learning of languages, autofiction and autobiography, crime and detective fiction. She holds 4 Master’s Degrees and a PhD in French and Francophone literature.

Godson Gatsha

Botswana

Dr Godson Gatsha is the Director-Centre for Research and Innovation at the Botswana Open University. He is an Open Distance Learning Practitioner and Research Manager & Administrator. He has worked as an ODL Regional Manager, Director SADC-CDE-Centre for Distance Education, SADC ODL Technical Advisor and Education Specialist, Higher Education, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada. His work has included working with Higher Education Ministries and Higher Education Institutions undertaking capacity building in ODL systems, Policies, Quality Assurance, Online Learning, Open Educational Resources, Development of Self-Learning Materials, Research and Publication. He holds a PhD Policy Studies from the University of Pretoria, MA in Distance Education (IGNOU), MEd in Educational Management (University of Botswana), BEd, BA (both from UNISA), a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from Stellenbosch University and Graduate Diploma in Leadership in ICT and Knowledge Society (Dublin City University).

Erkkie Haipinge

Namibia

Erkkie Haipinge is a lecturer of Educational Technology and Project Based Learning (Phenomenon Based Learning) at the University of Namibia in the Faculty of Education since 2013. He holds a Master of Arts in Education and Globalisation from the University of Oulu, Finland. Erkkie holds an academic support role as the Deputy Director for eLearning at the Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning where he has been involved in the development of Open, Distance and eLearning and Open Educational Resources policies for the University. His research activities have been areas such as technology enhanced learning, web 2.0 and social media interface with collaborative and self-directed learning, critical media literacy and multimodal multi-literacies. Erkkie is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet) whose primary goal is to provide support for ODL (Open Distance Learning) students through coordinated efforts.

Joel S. Mtebe

Tanzania

Dr Joel S. Mtebe is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He holds PhD in Interactive Technology/Human Computer Interaction from the University of Tampere in Finland. Dr Mtebe has supervised a number of Masters, and PhD students and he has examined a number of Masters and PhD thesis and dissertations. He is currently coordinating an eLearning Research Group with more than 20 master’s students and 8 PhD students conducting various aspects of computer science and eLearning.

Gabriel Konayuma

Zambia

Gabriel Konayuma works as Senior Vocational Education and Training Officer with the Higher Education Ministry in Zambia. His roles include policy development, promotion of technical and vocational education and training (TVET), entrepreneurship development and open, distance and flexible learning. Gabriel is also the UNESCO-UNEVOC Country Co-ordinator. He also co-ordinates the Commonwealth of Learning activities in the TVET sector and is the country representative of the e/Merge Africa Network. Gabriel has been promoting the use of OER in the TVET space as a way of mitigating constraints of learning in a developing context. He has presented a number of papers on OER at a number of educational conferences. Gabriel participated in the development of the OER Strategy developed by the Zambian Ministry of General Education. Gabriel obtained his Bachelor of Arts with Education degree from the University of Zambia in 1992, his Master of Business Administration from the Management College of Southern Africa in 2007 and his Master of Education (specialising in ICTs in Education) from the University of Cape Town in 2016.

Vandanah Gooria

Mauritius

Vandanah Gooria is Programme Manager and Lecturer in Marketing, Management and Special Needs Management at the Open University of Mauritius. She works voluntarily as part time Executive member for the Down Syndrome Association (Mauritius). She is the Board member and Committee member of Africa Down Syndrome Network (ADSN). She had 13 years of experience in administration, then has over 6 years of professional and academic experience encompassing market research and surveys, development of course materials, authoring courses and university teaching and then over 3 years of experience in social work. She is currently doing her PhD in Special Education Needs Management and published research paper in accredited journals (IEEE Xplore Digital Library, Research Gate) and International Conference proceedings. She co-authors one book chapter in Technology for Efficient Learner Support Services in Distance Education – Experiences from Developing Countries published in Springer. Her areas of interest are mainly Special education needs, Marketing, Tourism, Management, Open Educational Resources (OER), Technology and Open Distance Learning. She is actively contributing in the development of the National OER policy in Mauritius and attended various working sessions on OER movement organized by Common Wealth of Learning (COL).

Antoinette Wentworth

Namibia

Antoinette Wentworth hails from Namibia. She is currently the Manager: Instructional Design and Technology at the Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning (COLL) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Before this, she was an Instructional Designer at COLL and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities at NUST. Antoinette served as Chairperson for the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust (NOLNet) eLearning Standing Committee (2016-6/2020). During this time she contributed to the development of the Namibian National Open and Distance Learning Policy in 2016 and 2017 led the development of the Open Education Resource (OER) Policy. Antoinette creates awareness and promotes OER through training workshops, and facilitation at Conferences. She advocates for the inclusion of OER in course design and development and designed and developed OER in conjunction with partner universities and colleges in Namibia. Antoinette serves on the Namibia ICT Policy Review Committee to review the ICT in Education Policy and Implementation Plan for the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
She has over 53 semester’s experience of instruction in traditional in-person and distance learning environments for students of a diverse cultural background. She holds a Master Degree in Educational Technology obtained from the Arizona State University in Tempe Arizona, USA.

Xavier Muianga

Mozambique

Prof. Xavier Muianga is Assistant Professor at Faculty of Education at Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique. He has a PhD in Computer and Systems Sciences from Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) in Stockholm, Sweden, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Twente University in Enschede, The Netherlands, and a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Science of Mathematics and Physics from the Pedagogical University in Maputo, Mozambique. He is currently working as a Lecturer of different subjects related with ICT in Education and Educational Statistics at the Faculty of Education and he is Head of Center for Academic Development, the unit with responsibility on professional development at UEM and for another higher educational institutions in Mozambique. His research area and interest is ICT in education, particularly in eLearning, blended learning, student-centred learning, professional development, pedagogical innovation, problem based learning, action research, and learning analytics.

Betty Kutukwa-
Mutambanengwe

Zimbabwe

Betty Kutukwa-Mutambanengwe is currently an editor in the Materials Development Unit of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Prior to coming to ZOU, Betty, an experienced secondary school teacher, was a Research Manager at the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council. She is an evaluator of manuscripts for the Curriculum Development Unit, College Press, Zimbabwe Publishing House and Longman Publishers. She has co-authored some ZOU modules, has published and reviewed articles in international peer reviewed journals. She has a passion for Open Educational Resources and Technical-Vocational Education and Training. Betty holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, Planning and Policy Studies from ZOU, Bachelor of Education Degree in Home Economics from the University of Zimbabwe and a Secondary Teacher’s Certificate from Gweru Teachers’ College. She is also a DPhil candidate with the Zimbabwe Open University.

George Chipeta

Malawi

George Theodore Chipeta is a Senior Lecturer, and Head of Department of Information Sciences at Mzuzu University, Malawi. He is a holder of a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He also served as the Dean of the then Faculty of Information Science and Communications in Mzuzu University and is currently a serving member of the National Committee on Research in Social Sciences of the National commission for Science and Technology, Malawi. George has published some articles in the areas of information literacy, marketing of library and information services and information behaviour and knowledge management in South African and International journals and has reviewed several articles for reputable journals. His research interests are in information literacy, information behaviour and knowledge management. Currently, George has applied for Associate Professorship and his application is under review.