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Cardinal's Foundation for Distance Learning, CAFDIL

Reaching Remote Communities With Quality Education...

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INTRODUCTION

Cardinal's Foundation for Distance Learning, CAFDIL, aims at using technology to provide equal access to education for children, teens, and adults living in rural and deprived communities in Ghana in order to develop a country with no obvious or permanent educational disadvantage because of poverty, distance from educational facilities or underdevelopment. CAFDIL is to help bring out the best in people living in rural communities for their development, economic growth, and participation in national life.

The Cardinal’s vision for CAFDIL is informed by two main factors. Firstly, the manifest but regrettable gap in the quality and standard of education between urban and rural youth in Ghana, with the latter as the most disadvantaged. Secondly, the general lack of knowledge and education in the rural communities. The CAFDIL project is currently located in the Central Region of Ghana. However, the ultimate goal is to replicate it in other regions of Ghana and West Africa through the use of repeaters /satellite.

About THE CAFDIL PROJECT

cafdil

His Eminence Peter Cardinal Kodwo Appiah Turkson became a Cardinal in October 2003: one of 186 Cardinals worldwide and the first Ghanaian to be appointed to such a high position in the Catholic Church. He sought to translate his new position into some beneficial service for the land (Ghana); and he settled on ‘education’.
Prior to this, the Cardinal has been consistently been involved in educational activities. From 1994 to date, the Cardinal has been organizing vacation school programmes for Senior Secondary School Students in the Central Region of Ghana, in the month of August, and followed them up with ‘Career Counseling Workshops’ for Senior Secondary School students.

His Eminence has established a Foundation, designated The CARDINAL’S FOUNDATION FOR DISTANCE LEARNING (CAFDIL or The FOUNDATION). It is registered as a company limited by Guarantee under the Ghana companies code of 1964 Act 172. The Foundation has a 12-member Board of Trustees that provides overall strategic direction and guidance, with its corporate headquarters in Cape Coast, the Central Regional capital of Ghana.

The Cardinal’s vision for this distance-learning project (CAFDIL) is informed by two main factors:
First, the manifest but regrettable gap in the quality and standard of education between urban and rural youth in Ghana, with the latter as the most disadvantaged.

Second, the general lack of knowledge and education in the rural communities.

CAFDIL is the Cardinal’s response to the prevailing inequality in access to education and knowledge in Ghana, and his attempt to help rectify the situation.

The Foundation, therefore, intends to take advantage of the DVD Technology and modern wireless telecommunications technology for transmission dubbed the Multi-Channel Multi-Point Distribution System (MMDS) to bring education to the door-steps of the marginalized children and youth in rural and remote communities. These technologies permit the transmission of lessons through pre-recorded videos and microwave frequencies from a central location, which are then received as television signals using special rooftop microwave antenna.

Project Objectives

The main objectives of the project are:
To help eliminate illiteracy, and to contribute to the establishment of a stable democratic society (governance) through the provision of and access to education and knowledge.

To collaborate with Government in providing deprived and disadvantaged communities with a suitable learning process.

To educate the largest possible audience in rural communities in the areas of healthcare, disease control, nutrition, civic and moral values.

To accelerate the accessibility of quality education especially to the disadvantaged rural children, youth and adult learners.

To participate in the implementation of Millennium Development Goal 2: Achieving Universal Primary Education in Ghana.


Project Description:

The pilot stage of the CAFDIL project is scheduled to run for two (2) years, starting from the latter part of 2011-2013 academic year. This is expected to be a ‘learning’ stage for the project to identify problems, build capacity and prepare for future roll-out into all regions of Ghana.

The project will be executed in two principal modes: a reception only mode and an interactive mode.

In the ‘reception only mode’ of transmission, lessons and educational materials will be produced on DVD and distributed to the learning centers for replay under the guidance of local learning facilitators. Supplementary materials will be broadcast from the central transmitting point in Cape Coast, and received as television signals in learning centers. For this mode, a center will be equipped with a television set, a DVD Player, decoder and an antenna for receiving transmission signals. In the ‘interactive mode’ of transmission, the learning centers will be provided with equipment to enable them interact with teachers and pupils in other learning centers during lessons.

Lessons produced will be based on the Ghana Education Service (GES) syllabus and curriculum. Initial subject areas targeted by CAFDIL include:
Mathematics

Science Education

English Language

Local Languages (Fante/Twi)

History/Geography of Ghana (Social Studies)

In summary, CAFDIL seeks to help correct the imbalance in access to quality education for the disadvantaged children, youth and adult learners in villages and deprived areas through the use of DVD and the MMDS technology.
The project is expected to generate benefits through improvements in quantitative access of disadvantaged people to education, reduction of poverty, educational equity and quality.
Financial assistance is required to support the implementation of this project, which began in 2004.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • To use e-learning methods to accelerate the accessibility of quality education to the disadvantaged rural youth and adult learners.
     
  • To help eliminate illiteracy and contribute to the establishment of a stable democratic society (governance) through the provision of and access to education and knowledge.
     
  • To collaborate with Government in providing deprived and disadvantaged communities with a suitable learning process.
     
  • To educate the largest possible audience in rural communities in the areas of healthcare, disease control, nutrition, and civic and moral values.

PROJECT STATUS

Status of implementation of CAFDIL Project:

  • Registration of CAFDIL as limited liability Company…………………........................completed
  • Registration of Project with Ministry of Education………………............................. completed
  • License to broadcast with Nation Com. Authority ……………………....................... completed
  • Main Studio building……………………………………………………………............................ completed
  • Erection of Transmission mast ……………………………………………..…....................… completed
  • Equipment of master control room…………………………………………….…................. completed
  • Baseline survey …………………………………………………………………..............................  completed
  • Creation of Board…………………………………………………………….……........................... completed
  • Creation of Education and Lessons dev. Committee…………………… ................... completed
  • Dev. of class 1-3 lessons, work book, facilitators guide …………..........................  completed
  • Creation of Management committee…………………………………………..….................  completed
  • Identification of two (2) schools for Pilot phase ………………………......................... Completed
  • Pilot phase (class one): installation of equipment, teaching and evaluation of two schools …………………………………………………………....................................................................  Completed
  • Roll-out phase of Project in ten schools……..2014 – 2015..…………........................Completed
  • Expansion throughout country ………………… after 2015……………….......................In progress

LICENSE

A broadcast license from the National Communications Authority (NCA) was acquired by CAFDIL in February 2005; and it is negotiating for internet points from mobile telephone operators in Ghana. Ultimately, it will seek access to the satellite to expand the offer of lessons to all of West Africa. Thus, the CAFDIL project will contribute to the second Millennium Development Goals of achieving universal primary education. Other non-syllabus programs on health, sanitation, community development issues and environmental protection will indirectly support the other MDGs. CAFDIL is seeking to bring basic education to all children and adult learners who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity to acquire education.