Academic Computing at the University of Bamako, Mali: dot-EDU
[Issue II: Fall 02]
The Educational Exchange with the University of Bamako Project will enhance the university's capacity to administer its IT network, and to help faculty and students use this network for academic purposes. Nineteen Internet-connected computer labs for teachers and students will open in November at the University of Bamako.
With support from USAID/MALI, this innovative one-year project includes the following activities:
- Training for the University of Bamako WAN administrators and LAN managers - security, network management, and help desk assistance.
- Training for teachers, students and training of trainers, covering all the basics of using the Internet; training in web page development and maintenance for selected University webmasters.
- Three pilot projects developed and implemented that will allow selected faculty members to integrate information technology in their academic curricula.
- Proactive Internet user groups established in each department of the University of Bamako to ensure sustainability and creativity in the use of information technology in an academic environment.
- A strategic plan for 2003-2005 to create a unit focused on technology use and evaluation. When created, the unit will assist the University in assuming full ownership of its system, coordinating, advising and planning its growth or modifications to better serve its purpose of contributing to the improvement of the education system in the University of Bamako.
- Plans for establishing a computerized Information Resource Center which would capture information resources on IT sponsored by the University and gather, organize and provide accessibility for research, lessons learned, results and best practices on the general process of introduction of IT utilization in the University of Bamako.
The dot-EDU team, made up of the Education Development Center (EDC), USAID/MALI, Howard University (HU), Management Systems International (MSI), Michigan State University (MSU), World Space Foundation (WSF) and two Malian training partners (TBD), in collaboration with the University of Bamako will use the computer labs, in the spirit of information and knowledge sharing, to harness the potential of Internet use for academia.
The first visit to the USAID/MALI Mission and the University of Bamako was in September, by Rosemary Lombard, EDC and Zoey Breslar, MSI.
A needs assessment was conducted and some of the more urgent issues were addressed with the University Steering and Technical Committees. A project launch and a "journee de salle ouvert," (open house) is scheduled for early November. Representatives from all partners are planning to attend. A total of 240 Internet connected computers and 29 printers will be accessible to teachers, researchers and students after the computer labs are open. This month, the wide area network administrators are busy preparing and planning for the increase in network use, security and university e-mail accounts that will be made available to teachers and students.
HU, MSU and MSI are in direct contact with people from the University Steering and Technical Committees planning the next visits and technical assistance. All partners eagerly await the November launch and the IT training due to start in January.
The groundwork for planning and communication between partners has been laid so that each partner can bring their unique skills and assistance to the University of Bamako and the Malian community at large.
EDC was awarded the Educational Exchange with the University of Bamako Project on August 21, 2002 and will continue until September 15, 2003 (Award No. 688-G-00-02-00063-00 under the dot-EDU Leader Award No: GDG-A-00-01-00011-00).
For more information
Sonia Arias, Project Director, EDC
Rosemary Lombard, Research Development Assistant, EDC