Earlier this month I spent a week in Khartoum as part of an international exchange programme between the following organisations:
- University of the Western Cape (my institution in Cape Town)
- Ahfad University for Women (Khartoum)
- Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania
- Bergen University (Norway)
- FK Norway
The project is an attempt to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills with specific reference to rehabilitation and physiotherapy education in Norway, Sudan, South Africa and Tanzania. Last year several lecturers in my department spent time in Khartoum, teaching courses at Ahfad University, while we had colleagues from CCBRT and Ahfad working with us in Cape Town. The goal is to develop the physiotherapy programme at Ahfad, as well as the quality of rehabilitation in the region.
Ahfad University for Women is a pioneer higher education institution in Sudan whose goal and philosophy is to prepare women to assume responsible roles in families, communities, and in the nation. AUW achieves this goal through offering high quality instruction with emphasis on strengthening women’s roles in national and rural development and achieving equity for women in Sudanese society using a combination of well-articulated academic courses, on-the-job training, individual research, and community extension and outreach activities.
My role in the project is to help with developing digital and information literacy among participants. We’re also trying to figure out ways to improve teaching and learning at Ahfad, possibly with the integration of technology but with the understanding that that is not the primary goal. In addition, we’re exploring research opportunities in teaching and learning practices. We’re in the process of developing a collaborative module on ethics in physiotherapy practice where we’ll have students from UWC interacting with those in Ahfad.
We haven’t figured out the details, other than we won’t be able to use Drive, Dropbox, blogs, Google+ or anything else I’m used to using that relies on a solid internet connection. We’ll have to deal with intermittent connectivity, low levels of computer literacy (from both groups), structural impediments (limited access to computer labs) and cultural differences with regards the subject matter. Of course, these challenges make this collaboration a rich source of data and research opportunities. I’ll be sharing the details of the project as we iron them out.
Here are a few of the photos I took while in Khartoum: