For too long, until the end of the twentieth century and nowadays for some countries, studies have been given at the university level in a masterly way, with the teacher as the source of all knowledge, the main model on which all students should be referred in learning their future professions. The student amassed the knowledge mainly chosen by the professors and only applied it very often randomly in his profession. It should be noted that the natural selectivity impose oneself, mainly on the ability to implement in record time most or all the theories learned in his curriculum, depending on one science to another. And with that, we can note that the best memory does not necessarily give us the best student in all sciences; but on the contrary, the best student comes from a balanced assimilation between this mutually compensated duality of theory and practice.
Thus, the revolution of the educational system from centralization on the teacher towards a focus on the student based on the workload of the latter is the main event. The courses are provided taking into account the student's ability to reconcile the theory, basis of science, and practice, application of science. The latter, reflects the almost constant situation in which the academic will have to be in the professional environment from his first moments of work. Thus, he develops skills and techniques based on his different abilities to overcome any situation already at the university level.
Also, the academic becomes a center of development of ideas that allow him not only to be a competent workforce, but mainly a potential job creator source to meet the needs of the community in which he lives; by his skills acquired and/or deepened during his training.
In my case, as a geologist, the organization of several hours of contact per week of field sessions is the best way to assimilate and reconcile theory and practice. Because, it is better to have a geologist who has described two hundred rocks that one who has read only two hundred books. All this, to show that, beyond scientific basis acquired by laws and theorems, the application of these, allows us to internalize more this knowledge by representations.
Admittedly, the student is the center of this new learning, made in such a way as to be obtained in the best and most fulfilling conditions possible. But, he is none the less the undisputed master. His apprenticeship remains based on his workload taking into account hours of contact with professors but also hours of personal work. The professor, provider of knowledge, remains an element of the greatest importance in the training of the student. He guides students by introductory notions of courses provided. There would be no practice to practice without a theory previously acquired. Hence, university's education becomes a succession of theories and practices concerned respectively. This allows an assimilation of different materials singularly taken. Professors, which have a perfect analyze of profiles required in different fields; fashion guidelines, so that the different students, driven by an high research, following a greater disposal of information compared to previous decades, are better oriented and can make the best of themselves. The Professor dons the tunic of the intellectual guide who feeds targeted knowledge to students. This basic knowledge serves these, in order to deepen their knowledge through research, in the libraries and/or by the various current innovative methods.
It should be noted that it is easier to make the application of these practices in certain disciplines than in others. Some of them have an intrinsic side of the master teacher who must necessarily primarily turned the attention to him for later turn it towards students to ensure the quality of teaching provided.
To achieve this, the teacher must also give his subjects in a participatory and interactive way, through exchange seminars with students. This includes good ICT skills and good preparation. The teacher is constantly updated to master a maximum of new aspect, reconcile with his experience and mastery of the subject, to always meet the expectations of students. He is no longer the only holder of knowledge, but he shares science with students in order to allow them a rigorous analysis in the acquisition of notions and allows them to understand those misunderstood.
The Tuning methods are all set up to make this duality teacher-student effective. But it should be noted that the latter are only applicable when a certain minimum of conditions at the university level are respected: a multi-scientific library dealing with the most possible aspects, access to laboratories equipped, a reasonable number of students by audience, a sufficient number of qualified professors who can assimilate almost all the subjects in the different university courses, basic infrastructures which can allow an apprenticeship in the best conditions possible ... With regard to all this, the various universities through the continent, are not all of them predisposed to the same level to make the application of effective tuning methods. Following mainly different national policies, which invest differently in different countries across the continent. These methods fit into an ideal framework of the execution of the study system.
The question that remains is how to bring back in a common system, pan-African, these different systems, different than sometimes by weak features. The main consideration that comes to mind is to bring them all into one system. But again, as a constraint is tied beyond the academic level, eager for effective unity, to the policies in place in different countries.
Thus, the political constraint faced by each university in its respective country, should only increase the desire for an improvement and a harmonization of different systems of study. The good outcome will be to make the student credit transfer system as most flexible as possible. From exchanges and synergy of our knowledge, academics will meet many expectations of our countries. Huge is the potential in different sectors in Africa; but, as we all know, we don't build the future with potentials but rather with achievements.
In my humble opinion, the first step in the process of harmonization should be to design a system of study. That system could serve as a reference, with a well-established workload. And, this system could be used as a unit of measure by which universities of different countries can transfer credits through it. Knowing how much our different credits are equivalent in the referral system, it will be easier to assess the workload of students from other countries and to analyze them in relation to ours. This could be applied in the perspective of a perfect future harmony of our education's systems.
Having been a member of a similar experience, Generation under construction, at the last two editions of 2015 and 2016, China and DR. Congo, but not debating mainly on the same subjects. My participation at the fifth general meeting of Tuning Africa, fencing the second phase, as the student's voice of my country gave me a general idea on which to focus for a better continent. This enabled me too to give my opinion for a more prosperous Africa. One of the most important sides was to allow me to address and share my ideas and my convictions to the most international community to date. We are already rich in resources, opportunities and cultures, but this is mainly derived and has only the connotation of potential; a country doesn't develop just with potentials but on the contrary with the exploitation of these. Of course, this is only possible by raising the academic level and working together. A better future can only emerge if we all agree. We are the future and even the present of this continent, the generation called to lead tomorrow, the task could be simpler if the cradle of current African science instilled unity and not uniqueness. The science doesn't need borders, It must be shared freely as most as possible. Let's build up some pan-African academics, made from our synergy, pride of an African progress. Hence the encouragement of this initiative to which we students had participated in order to let our voices be heard. The future deeply desires change.
Hugues NKULU NGOY
University of Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Faculty of Sciences (Departement of Geology)