Sudanese Research and Education Network (SudREN) has embarked on efforts to re-activate its video conferencing services in order to maximise utilisation of its abundant ICT infrastructure, says its CEO, Dr Sami Salih. The Initiative being implemented in collaboration with International University of Africa (IUA) is expected to enable Sudanese Universities to commence providing lectures and workshops to remote audiences.
"In collaboration with International University of Africa (IUA), SudREN established a pilot project to build a business model for the video conference system for the sake of service sustainability. In this regards, and according to the IUA policies the classes should be split in two groups, gents and ladies. So, each lecture, tutorial, and practical session is duplicated," says Dr Salih.
According to Dr Salih, the classes are split in order to enable the most appropriate learning for both men and women while upholding all education policies and this poses extra cost implications to the universities and possible questions on the whether all learners are receiving the exact same quality of learning from the tutor.
Video conferencing has, therefore, presented an opportunity to ensure that all students, men and women, benefit from Sudan's high quality education system while upholding education sector policies but with the added benefit of reduced costs as Dr Salih explains:
"Phase one of the project is achieved by implementing the VC system in the classrooms, and re-arranges the lecture timetable to accommodate both gents and ladies. The instructors deliver their lectures from one lecture room and the other group of students can participate via VC. And for the sake of equality, the following week's lecture is toggled so the instructors physically provides the lecture for group 2 while group 1 participates via the VC," he adds.
Video Conferencing is one service that UbuntuNet Alliance NREN Members are stepping to provide in 2015 as it has proven to tremendously reduce the cost of education and research through remote collaboration.