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Lecturers with online skills needed for 2,500 vacancies

The government of Côte d’Ivoire has launched a campaign to recruit higher education lecturers with online teaching skills to fill an estimated 2,500 vacant posts. Meanwhile, a new institute of nuclear medicine specialising in cancer treatment is due to open by the end of the year in Abidjan.

The Minister for Higher Education and Research Gnamien Konan presided over the National Commission for Recruitment of Higher Education Teachers, or CNRES, at Université Félix Houphouët Boigny d’Abidjan-Cocody, reported L’Intelligent d’Abidjan.

The commission was meeting to pass judgement on 517 applications, from 76 women and 441 men, of whom 435 were Ivoirian nationals and 82 were from the diaspora, reported the paper. Further CNRES sessions will take place in October and December.

In spite of the need for an estimated 2,500 new lecturer-researchers, Konan stressed that members of the commission should be rigorous in assessing the quality of the candidates, because they would be accountable for the results.

“It’s not because we need teachers that you must accept all the applicants. If you tell me that out of the 500 you have only retained 150, I will recognise that,” he said.

The minister’s suggestions included that teaching units should be able to shortlist candidates they had proposed to the commission. He hoped CNRES would interview candidates instead of simply examining their application dossiers, in view of the necessary requirements for meeting the challenges of online teaching and distance education, reported L’Intelligent.

“We want a technical, not an administrative, commission,” said Konan. With online education helping to solve the problem of lack of places in lecture halls, teachers should do some self-analysis, carry out research and take further training through courses and seminars to improve the quality and level of education.

He warned that: “With online teaching, the courses must be authorised” to avoid providing content that “contained poison”.

The minister said online education would allow all students to assimilate content, cut the failure rate and even make the concept of failure disappear because “each learns at their own rhythm before being assessed”, reported L’Intelligent.

But, said Konan, the teacher remained essential because students would always need close supervision “from an expert and guide”.

Nuclear medicine institute

Meanwhile, the Institut de Médicine Nucléaire d’Abidjan, the first hospital specialising in cancer treatments in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, or UEMOA, will open in the grounds of the Abidjan-Cocody teaching hospital at the end of 2014, announced the institute’s founder Professor Achi Bertin Ossey in a radio interview, reported Fratmat of Abidjan.

“Until now, without this service, those with the financial means have gone to the Maghreb, to Europe,” said Ossey. “In a few months, we will be able to carry out cancer treatments here, and at a lower cost.”

He defined nuclear medicine as using the principle of radioactivity to search for certain diseases and treat others, such as thyroid cancer. He underlined the importance of the future model centre, which he said would “widen the technological aspect".

“We will carry out diagnosis and removal of the thyroid and destroy the remaining cells after surgery.” The centre would bring together the components of knowledge – the nuclear laboratory and imaging, and hospitalisation.

Ossey said the institute was built with aid from the United Nations, in the aftermath of a former nuclear centre set up by the International Atomic Energy Agency which had operated for seven years within the medical faculty of the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny d’Abidjan-Cocody.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.
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