Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Time for Reflection: 2012 in Review

At the end of each year, it is a good practice to look back and reflect on one's achievements. This enable's one to make remedies where they have been shortfalls and also make improvements on where one has done well. The year 2012 was quite busy for me work-wise and academically. In terms of work, I was able to facilitate the finalisation of the development of a Strategy Paper for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) sector. I was also able to facilitate the training of about 40 staff in the use of ICTs in teaching ODL. The training was conducted by Professor Dick Ng'ambi from the Centre for Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town. Towards the close of the year, I also facilitated the development of the Entrepreneurship Training Policy in TEVET. I also took part in Training Needs Analysis for programmes to be offered at the institutions that will be established in Mwense and Lundazi. Other activities were conducting of M & E for the TEVET Financing Strategy in selected TEVET institutions and also M & E for implementation of ODL in institutions under my Ministry. I was also part of the team that finalised the national ODL policy under SADC sponsorship and the merged policies in Education, TEVET and Science and Technology. 

In terms of Conference paper presentations and publications, I presented a paper on: Analysis of e-Learning Policies in Zambia using Critical Discourse Analysis at the 7th eLearning Africa Conference in Benin. I also presented a paper on Analysis of ODL Policies in Zambia using Critical Discourse Analysis at the first International ODL Conference in South Africa hosted by the University of South Africa (UNISA). I also attended the 9th Annual Entrepreneurship Conference in November Uganda hosted by Makerere Business School of Uganda and also attended the official opening and closing of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA). I also participated in an online conference called e/Merge 2012. It was one of the best online Conferences I have attended on issues of e-Learning. I had a paper accepted for presentation and discussion during this Conference.

In my part-time job with the Management College of Southern Africa in South Africa, four MBA students, whom I had supervised in their MBA research graduated in Durban and Johannesburg. It is always a joy when I successfully supervise a student up to the time they graduate because it is never an easy road for most students who have to juggle their time with being employers, family men or women and students. Some almost feel like giving up. But I am very sure the joy of them graduating makes them realise that it was worth persevering to the way to the end! 

In terms of my blog writing on my general blog: www.gabrielkonayuma.blogpspot.com, I wrote 10 blog articles which was not very good as that translates to an average of 1 blog per month. I would like to increase to 2 blogs per month this year. On my professional blog on issues in education and training, I wrote 4 blogs, 1 of them being from a friend. I need to write more this year especially on issues of e-Learning, Open and Distance Learning and Entrepreneurship. 

Lastly, as a student at the University of Cape Town, I passed my Research proposal and began working on my MPhil. ICTs in Education dissertation: "Enablers and Challenges of e-Learning Policy Implementation in Vocational Training in Zambia" supervised by Dr, Cheryl Brown. By the end of the year, I had started my data collection and my literature review. I had planned to have done my research methodology by the end of the year though. I plan to complete my dissertation and submit by end of March this year so that I graduate in June this year. That will mean better time management and fewer hours of sleep -:) . 

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