Fatoumata Keita

Greetings dear colleagues,
Thanks so much for your thought-provoking comments. As far as Prof Olusola’s question about the demerits of the current approach to teaching and learning in Africa, I think that come from the fact the current approach does not enable learners to acquire what Prof Sanjayan T.S. calls the four C’s of the 21st century, namely: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and critical thinking. Many African countries face multidimensional crises that require transversal competences and skills, and the learners’ ability to collaborate, communicate, think critically and with creativity are necessary to solve some of those crises. Hence, it is not the learners’ competence in one single discipline that will be enough, but their ability to work from an interdisciplinary and transversal approach that will yield the greater benefit. Unfortunately, the current approach does not place an important emphasis on these aspects. Collaboration which is believed to be the future of higher education, be it at the individual level or institutional level, is also the missing link of current higher education system in many parts of the continent. However, in her memoir titled: Unbowed: One Woman’s Story (2006:119), Wangari Maathai writes: “A great river always begins somewhere. Often it starts as a tiny spring bubbling up from a crack in the soil. But for the stream to grow into a river, it must meet other tributaries and join them as it heads for a lake or the sea”. For the African HEIs to grow into a great river, it shall foster collaboration at all levels, between learners and teachers, between policy maker and HE actors, between institutions and between public/private sectors. Only in this way can we build a stronger, inclusive, harmonized and integrated higher education system in Africa.