The ninth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF9) will feature renowned speakers, a compelling four-day programme, and unparalleled networking opportunities.
Approximately 570 participants from 60 countries have registered to attend PCF9, organised by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and co-hosted with The Open University, scheduled to hold September 9 -12 at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland.
A total of 17 government ministers from Commonwealth Member States are expected at the event which will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, poster and paper presentations and an interactive “Market Exchange” for one-to-one conversations.
The Asa Briggs Lecture, a hallmark of every PCF, will be delivered by British film producer, educator, environmentalist and member of the House of Lords, Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, C.B.E.
Keynote and special addresses will be presented by His Excellency Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles; Sarah Brown, founder of children’s charity Theirworld and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education; Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL Knowledge Lab; Sugata Mitra, former Professor and Principal Research Investigator, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University; and Marc Prensky, Founder and Executive Director, The Global Future Education Foundation and Institute.
Jane Constance, UNESCO Artist for Peace and winner of French television competition The Voice Kids, is scheduled to perform at the welcome reception on the forum’s opening night. For the latest speaker list and more information on the daily programme, please visit pcf9.org/programme.html.
An event app designed for the programme, will be available for download from August 27 2019 and will provide access to important information before and during the forum for registrants.
Meanwhile, the President, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Prof Asha Kanwar, delivered a keynote address at the eighth Distance Education and Teachers’ Training in Africa (DETA) Conference at the University of Lagos recently.
In her address, ‘Educating the African Learner in an Era of Crises: What are the options?’ Professor Kanwar explored five crises that impact education: climate change, migration and displacement, out-of-school youth, the ‘learning crises’ and the challenge of pedagogy.
She also provided an overview of the ‘African learner’ and the ways in which the teaching community is responding to these crises. She closed the presentation with a description of some of COL’s contributions and the strategies that could help improve teacher education in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Teachers need to become lifelong learners who are constantly renewing their skills and competencies to stay relevant to changing demographics and technologies. But a critical change will occur if we move beyond simply acquiring skills and competencies to transformative learning. This would mean not just adapting to changing circumstances but acquiring the ability to change circumstances,” said Professor Kanwar.
Apart from the DETA Conference, while in Nigeria, Kanwar also visited the Regional Training and Research Institute for Open and Distance Learning (RETRIDOL) and spoke at the launch of the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Abuja. At the launch, she also met with the heads of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Teachers Institute (NTI) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), as well as the Permanent Secretary and directors at the Federal Ministry of Education.