Keynote Speakers

12 October 2018

Keynote speakers

Prof Asha Singh Kanwar
President and Chief Executive Officer
Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
Vancouver, Canada

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar, one of the world’s leading advocates of learning for sustainable development, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning. Throughout a career spanning over 35 years, she has made outstanding contributions in the areas of teaching, research and international development.

Professor Kanwar received her undergraduate, Master's and MPhil degrees from the Panjab University in India and a DPhil from the University of Sussex, UK. Her areas of expertise include open distance and technology-enabled learning, open educational resources, quality assurance, gender and organizational development. Professor Kanwar has written and edited a dozen books, published over 100 papers and articles, and delivered numerous keynotes at prestigious international conferences.

Prior to joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a senior consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO's Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA). She has also served as Director, School of Humanities and as Pro-Vice Chancellor at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi, India. She was a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University in the US, where she was later invited to teach. Currently, she serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies and Education (IITE).

Professor Kanwar won several international awards, including the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Prize of Excellence, and the Meritorious Service Award for outstanding contributions in open and distance education from the Asian Association of Open Universities. She has been conferred eight honorary doctorates from Universities in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Dr Tony Bates
Distinguished Visiting Professor
The G.Raymond chang School of Continuing Education Ryerson University
Vancouver, Canada

Dr Tony Bates is a distinguished visiting professor at the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University in Canada and a distinguished visiting scholar at the De Groote School of Business at Canada’s McMaster University. He is also a research associate at Contact North. He has almost 50 years’ experience using technology for teaching. He started at the British Open University in 1969, where he became a full professor in educational media research. In 1989, he emigrated to Canada to assume the position of Executive Director: Strategic Planning and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency in Vancouver. In 1995, he became Director of Distance Education and Technology at the University of British Columbia. Upon his retirement in 2003, he started his own consulting company that specialises in the planning and management of learning technologies in tertiary education. He has consulted in over 40 countries and has received honorary degrees from six universities for his research in distance education.

Professor Ashom Musa Maisamari
Dean at the Faculty of Education
University of Abuja

Professor Ashom Musa Maisamari started his career as a teacher with the Bauchi State Government. After obtaining his doctoral degree in English Education from the University of Jos, he quickly rose to the rank of Education Officer II before joining the University of Abuja. He has held several positions, including state coordinator on the Joint Consultative Committee on Education and National Council on Education, and social mobilisation officer at Mass Mobilisation for Social Justice and Economic Recovery. He was also chairperson of the Governing Council Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi, director of the General Bauchi State Agency for Youth and Women Empowerment, Rehabilitation and Development, executive chairperson of the Bauchi State Commission for Youth and Women Empowerment, Rehabilitation and Development, and chairperson of the Bauchi State Committee for the Disarticulation of Junior Secondary Schools from Senior Secondary Schools. He was on the board of Nigerian Inland Waterways and a member of the Visitation Panels to Federal Polytechnic Nwanna, Afigbo and Federal Polytechnic Bida. He has also held a number of high-ranking positions at various academic institutions and currently serves as Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Abuja.


Professor Laban Peter Ayiro 
Professor of Research Methods
Moi University

During his career, Prof LP Ayiro was a high school teacher, principal of several schools, Provincial Director of Education, and Deputy Director and Senior Deputy Director of Education in the mainstream Kenyan government. He has also served as Director of Quality Assurance, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Administration and Planning and Ag. Vice-Chancellor at Moi University. He is a professor of research methods and has a wide research and publication track record with over 30 publications. Prof Ayiro is also a senior Fulbright scholar. In addition to a doctoral degree, he holds BEd, MA, MEd and MSc degrees. Prof Ayiro is the national external evaluator of the Competency-based Curriculum and a consultant with the World Bank on higher education reforms in Kenya. He is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya.


Ms Sangster Jere 

Technical and Vocational Teachers College (TVTC) Luanshya, Zambia

Ms Sangster M Jere has been Principal of the Technical and Vocational Teachers’ College (TVTC) in Luanshya, Zambia, since 2014/15. She started her career as an educationist in 1980. She was head of TVTC’s departments of Research and Consultancy and Education before being appointed as a training manager in 2006. She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands and a master’s degree in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from Bolton University in the United Kingdom. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Africa in Zambia. She is a strategist, who is fuelled by compassion, goal orientation and dissatisfaction with the status quo. At TVTC, Ms Jere has developed new policies, increased national recognition, developed new organisational structures for effective management and expanded the programmes from the initial four diploma programmes to 12 diploma and degree programmes. She has also increased the focus on staff development, advocated for the uptake of technology-enabled teaching and learning and improved learning outcomes. She serves on the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics Board as Regional Gender Focal Point Person for Central and Southern Region. 


Professor Mudasiru Olalere Yusuf
Professor in Educational Technology
Faculty of Education
University of Ilorin
Ilorin, Nigeria

Professor Mudasiru Olalere Yusuf obtained a BA(Ed) degree from the University of Ife (now the Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1987, an MA(Ed) degree in Educational Technology from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1991 and a PhD in Educational Technology from the University of Ilorin in 1997. He started his career as an auxiliary teacher at Apoti Community Grammar School in 1982, after which he was appointed as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology of the University of Ilorin in 1992. He was appointed as a lecturer in the Department in 1994 and as a senior lecturer in 1998. He was appointed as a reader in the Department of Science Education at the University of Ilorin. He is currently a professor in the Department and has fulfilled 34 administrative roles during his career at the University. He is a member of eight professional bodies. He has published many journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and workshop presentations and has supervised 15 master’s degree students and 19 doctoral degree candidates.


Professor Dikeledi Mahlo
Associate Professor
Department of Inclusive Education 

South Africa

Professor Dikeledi Mahlo holds a PhD degree in Inclusive Education. She is an associate professor in the Department of Inclusive Education at the University of South Africa (Unisa). Prior to joining academia, she was a Foundation Phase teacher in the Mpumalanga Department of Education and an inclusive education specialist at the Gauteng Department of Education. She offers modules in inclusive education at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has supervised eight master’s degree students and two doctoral degree candidates. In 2015, she was a recipient of Unisa’s Developing Researcher Women’s Award. She has authored six chapters in scholarly books and is currently co-editing a book on autism from an African perspective. She has published articles in various local and international accredited journals.

Professor Freda Wolfenden
Professor of Education and International Development
The Open University
United Kindom

Prof Freda Wolfenden is a professor of Education and International Development at the Open University in the UK, where she has held a number of management positions, including Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. Since joining The Open University in 2004, she has directed various teacher education programmes, including, an innovative online professional development initiative, and the Master’s in Education degree programme. From 2008 to 2012, Prof Wolfenden was the Director of the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme. More recently, she was the Academic Director for TESS-India, a large-scale open educational resource (OER) teacher education initiative working across seven Indian states to reach up to a million teachers. She also led The Open University component of the Girls’ Education Challenge Project in Sierra Leone. Prof Wolfenden leads many research activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and India that focus on teacher education and how digital technologies can influence pedagogic practices and support sustainable transformation at institutional and system level. Most recently, she contributed to work on reconceptualising the education workforce for the Education Commission and explored the characteristics of teachers working with marginalised students for the Varkey Foundation.



Important Dates
Conference Duration
22 July 2019 - 26 July 2019
19 November 2018 - 22 July 2019 [CLOSED]
Call For Abstracts
1 November 2018 - 15 May 2019
DETA 2019
Willem Cronje
Contact Email
[email protected]
Contact Number
  • Stream 1: Economic/Social/Political Crises and Teacher Education
  • Stream 2: Teacher Development and Distance Education
  • Stream 3: E-learning
  • Stream 4: 21st Century
  • Stream 5: Inclusive classrooms
  • Stream 6: Open schooling