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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Electronic Learning: Strategy to Enhance Education in Developing Countries

Prof. Johan van Rooyen, Prof. Johan Hough.

The electronic revolution reached the point where educators and corporate trainers must take the new knowledge seriously enough to embrace the challenge to look above the trees like a giraffe and into the future. This is possible because computers have finally become powerful enough to permit the creation of 'teaching machines' that can manipulate the massive amounts of information involved in the learning process and the Internet is now fast enough and widely distributed enough to change teaching practices.

By themselves, traditional training methods are no longer able to satisfy the demand for continuous staff development and re-skilling. Information technology has the potential to add value to these processes. Information technology will drastically change traditional teaching and learning; for example, educator's effective contact with students will not be bound by time and place; students can learn at their own paces in their preferred modes; and the distinction between elementary and advanced learning will be virtually impossible to maintain. The Internet makes it possible to offer classes to students no matter where they or the teacher are located, to ignore strict constraints of time and to create "electronic communities" of students and educators.

This article explores the communication profiles of developing, least developed and selected Southern African countries, asynchronous and synchronous instruction and the Internet and distance-learning technologies. Special attention is given to the factors which inhibit cyber education at Southern African tertiary institutions. Three major areas of significant concern for Internet development in developing countries are discussed, namely the national information policy, regulatory framework and information infrastructure and lastly, education and training.

This article concludes that asynchronous delivery of instruction and the synchronous approach can peacefully co-exist in a group of distance learning strategies that focus on on-line access to learning through common cyber space technologies.


Prof. Johan van Rooyen  (South Africa)
School of Public Management and Administration
University of Pretoria

Prof Johan van Rooyen DCom in Business Management

After a period of twelve years in the private sector mostly in the treasury environment, Johan joined UNISA in 1991 and obtained a doctors degree in business management in 1992 through RAU. He later became head of the Financial Risk Section in the Department of Business Management and also was appointed incumbent of the First National Bank Chair in Banking. He headed the Associate Membership Programme in Treasury Management run by the Centre for Business Management at UNISA and the Association of Corporate Treasurers of Southern Africa (ACTSA) in association with the UK based Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT).

Johan joined the department of business management at the University of Stellenbosch at the beginning of February 2001 where he lectures on financial risk management with derivatives, investment management and business ethics. He is head of Post Graduate Study in the Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch.

He is a member of the Southern African Institute of Management Scientists, the Southern African Finance Association and ACTSA. He is also member of the Western Cape Regional Committee of ACTSA.

Johan researches and consults in various areas of business, however, mostly in treasury and information management.

Prof. Johan Hough  (South Africa)
Professor of Strategy
Business Management
University of Stellenbosch

Johan completed the degrees MSc in Agricultural Economics and a Doctorate in Strategy at South African universities and is a graduate from the Faculty Programme in International Business, South Carolina in the USA. He teaches Strategic Management and is also the chairman of the graduate courses in Entrepreneurship at the University of Stellenbosch. He has lectured in Sweden, Finland and the USA. Johan has been instrumental in the development of strategic alliance profiles and entrepreneurial profiling in South Africa. Johan is also the project leader of the Programme in Corporate Entrepreneurship and the Advanced Programme in Corporate Entrepreneurship.

Areas of expertise include strategic management, international business research, and spearheading “Corporate Entrepreneurship” in South African companies. He was the recipient of the Ernst Oppenheimer Special Overseas Study Grant in 2000. Johan is the main author of “Global Business” and the co-editor of “Entrepreneurship: A Southern African Perspective”.

Johan has consulted widely and some of his clients include Deloitte & Touche, Standard Bank of South Africa, Maize Board, UCT (Graduate School of Business), Technikon Pretoria, World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Iscor Mining, various cooperatives and Absa.

  • Electronic learning
  • Distance learning
  • The virtual classroom
  • Information technology and developing countries

(30 min Conference Paper, English)