Cameroon

Digital Education in Cameroon: An Analysis into Available Tools and Perceptions Regarding Benefits, Barriers, and Access to e-Learning Tools in Southwest Cameroon, November 2021

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Analysis
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Abstract

The digital revolution has transformed our society so much so that in 2016, the United Nations General Assembly declared access to the internet was a human right. In education, digital tools support and facilitate learning, especially in the context of a global pandemic, when much of learning was forced into a remote alternative.
However, digital access is plagued by inequalities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Limited digital infrastructure, unreliable electricity support, high financial costs and limited digital skills amongst school workforce hinders full realization and utilization of digital tools in learning and teaching in the region.

This study seeks to promote Goal 4 of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure equitable and sustainable digital access for students. The purpose of this research is to better understand digital access and digital education in Southwest Cameroon, to explore what factors the benefits and limitations of e-learning in the region. The study focused on students in Forms 2-5, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth, and their parents/guardians and teachers. The results reiterated findings from previous research: infrastructural challenges, limited access to digital hardware and lack of teacher training are key barriers to e-learning in the region. The study also found that students feel involved in the decision-making process for digital education but less so that their opinions are reflected in the decisions made, and that female students face greater barriers to digital education and accessing e-learning tools than their male counterparts. Government intervention, along with the active participation of community organizations, parents/guardians, school staff and students, is required to address the inequalities in digital access that limit e-learning in Southwest Cameroon.

Solidarity and Development Initiative
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