C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
CAM Bulletin Number 3 - Oct. 1997
Distance Learning Program
CAM Reviews its Distance Learning Program
Many of you are aware that the Association planned to review the Distance Learning Program. We were able to obtain funding from the Commonwealth Foundation to do that and the meeting was held in Paris from June 30 to July 3 this year. It did not work out as we had originally planned and we were not able to include as many individuals as we had hoped. We did take advantage of the ICOM Advisory Committee meeting in Paris just before that time and were also able to establish contacts with ICOM and UNESCO to begin to strengthen those relationships and explore possibilities for co-operation.
The main reasons for the review were the length of time since the program was initiated (10 years from the start), the changing role of museums in society, and the greater availability and need to incorporate museum literature relevant to all areas of the Commonwealth.
We were greatly encouraged by the questionnaire responses from former students and other members engaged in training activities, and were particularly pleased to receive 10 replies from the last 12 students (see below for current status of the program). Thank you to all who assisted us in this endeavour.
CAM was very fortunate in having the presence of several colleagues from other organizations. Dr. Peter Kinyanjui, Principal Education Specialist from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in Vancouver was supported by COL to attend and provide a very important educational perspective. Catherine Antomarchi, Co-ordinator for ICCROM-PREMA, and Mubiana Luhila from Zambia, a PREMA instructor, also attended because of their interest and support for the distance course and experience in international training and conservation training.
Progress was substantial on determining the directions of the Distance Program and a further report will be forthcoming in the next Bulletin after Council has had an opportunity to consider the recommendations of the meeting.
ICCROM-PREMA and CAM Distance Learning Program
The meeting in Rome which led to greater collaboration with the West African Museums Programme had also been instrumental in stimulating CAM's collaboration with ICCROM-PREMA. PREMA, Prevention in Museums in Africa is a comprehensive conservation training program which seeks not only to provide specific training in preventive conservation but also to place that training in a broader context which will enable it to be successful. Part of that context is understanding on the part of museums and museum professionals of the full range of museum work and how it all fits together in support of cultural and natural heritage preservation and education.
CAM's Distance Learning Program in basic museum studies can provide this general awareness and understanding at a modest cost in time and money, and without dislocation and complete suspension of the participant's work for their institution. We are very pleased to say that ICCROM-PREMA is providing scholarship funds for PREMA graduates interested in the CAM program.
We are looking forward to enrolling the participants who have expressed interest in the course, currently 12. CAM is very much enriched by these common efforts and we sincerely thank PREMA for their genuine willingness to work together for the benefit of our museum community.